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Lawyer Shares Actions That Get People Fired At Work Christmas Parties

As another year nears its conclusion, businesses throughout the world are gearing up for the special ways they'll celebrate the holidays. And because it's always good to blow off steam after a long, tough year, the parties they have in mind can often get pretty wild.

However, just because everyone's a little more likely to let their hair down around this time of year, that doesn't mean anything goes.

As one lawyer makes very clear, there are some ways employees can go so hard that they lose their jobs, or worse.

If a party gets too out of hand, employers will often consider how that reflects on their business' reputation.

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But as Priya Cunningham of Watermans solicitors told The Daily Record, the more immediate problem they can face are the legal repercussions of their employees' actions.

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Although it's true that Cunningham's firm is British, what she's referring to also holds true in the United States.

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According to Cornell's Legal Information Institute, this is because of a legal principle called respondeat superior, in which both the employee and the employer can be held liable if someone suffers harm as a result of an employee's actions within the scope of their organization.

Although the standards for how this principle applies vary from state to state, they can easily to apply to after-hours activities.

This is especially true if the plaintiff can argue the wrongful actions occurred with even the implied permission of the employer or in circumstances that seems normal for the organization.

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The most obvious way this can arise is if an employee becomes violent after drinking too much and assaults coworkers or event staff.

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As Cunningham said, this is classified as gross misconduct.

One could then argue that an employer who doesn't pursue disciplinary action against the employee involved could be seen as tacitly condoning their behavior.

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Similar legal ramifications also apply in cases of sexual harassment.

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These cases are perhaps even more likely to introduce the possibility that an employee will face criminal charges as well as dismissal from the company.

Once again, an employer that could be arguably seen as setting the circumstances for such misconduct to take place would likely be interested in taking every step possible to mitigate any legal liability they'd face as a result.

And so, firing the employee responsible would likely become an effective means of doing that.

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Bringing illegal drugs to the party also constitutes taking a big legal risk.

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This one, of course, varies depending on the legality of a given substance in the region where the party takes place.

This office, for instance, is legally within their rights to partake in the actions pictured because their state has legalized recreational marijuana. However, this isn't true everywhere in the country.

As far as Cunningham told The Daily Record, however, an employee who doesn't do any of the above, doesn't get so drunk that they forget to lock up once the party is over, and doesn't show up drunk the next day should be fine.

h/t: The Daily Record

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