I am pleased to share with you the latest blog I wrote for Entrepreneur.
The upcoming holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year, but it all poses challenges to entrepreneurs of all sizes. Yes, there are risks. What good does not come with some risk? But most of the legal and employee relations risks can be mitigated with some thoughtful planning. So here’s a checklist of issues to minimize the risk that your December celebrations will result in January claims.
1. Don’t eliminate Christmas.
Don’t eliminate Christmas from the holiday season, says this Jewish guy. It’s a beautiful holiday that should be celebrated. And a Christmas tree is just fine, too! But what about those who don’t celebrate Christmas? Read on.
2. Include other holidays.
It’s about inclusion, not exclusion. Rather than excluding Christmas, recognize other holidays, such as Hanukkah and Kwanza. Consider a menorah and Kwanza basket along with the Christmas tree! No lit candles, please.
3. What holiday did you forget?
You don’t know what you don’t know. Profound. So, ask. Ask employees if there is a holiday that they would like to see included in the celebration (and that includes decorations). By asking, I learned that the Buddhist holiday of Bodhi Day falls on December 8.
4. What about those who don’t celebrate?
Some employees celebrate holidays at different times of year. Some don’t celebrate holidays at all.
This does not mean we should nix the season celebration. It does mean we should reference in our communications those who may not feel part of the seasonal celebrations. I will try to do just that at the end of this checklist.
5. What should you call your party?
“Holiday party” is the most inclusive term. Make your party more inclusive by having decorations and music reflect diverse holidays. Think about your choice of decorations and songs. Those that are religious are more appropriate for religious celebrations (or for religious employers).
What if someone is offended by Jingle Bells? May that be his or her biggest problem in life!
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