St. Patrick’s Day has grown from a celebration for those of Irish heritage to an all out booze-fest.
When the holiday falls on a Saturday, it usually isn’t a concern for employers. But when it’s Sunday – Friday, there are several potential problems employees would be good to address. After all, the legal implications some St. Patty’s Day situations can last much longer than a hangover.
Here are our tips for keeping St. Patty’s Day sober and safe around your workplace.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the Right Way in the Workplace
If you want to seize the opportunity to throw a St. Patrick’s Day party and do some team-building activities, go right ahead. You can serve up traditional Irish food — corned beef and cabbage anyone? — shamrock-shaped cookies, and even lime-and-Sprite punch.
One St. Patrick’s party staple your workplace bash should skip? Alcohol. Supplying your employees with Irish beer or whiskey can majorly backfire. Alcohol can fuel interpersonal issues and even lead to assault — and if your business provided the booze, you may be found at fault. Also, providing drinks may give your workers the impression that you’re okay if they party off-the-clock and show up hungover — and we’re guessing you’re not.
No Pinching Allowed
Another St. Patrick’s Day tradition is pinching anyone who doesn’t dress in green. But keep in mind that this “game” can be misconstrued or easily turn into sexual harassment, particularly when management-level staff directs their pinches toward supervised employees of the opposite sex.
We think it’s best to make sure that your employees know that green attire is encouraged, but not required — and that there’s a strict No Pinching policy in place.
Curbing Absenteeism & Unproductivity
It’s not uncommon for employees to enjoy libations after-hours and call in sick on March 18, or even slog to work and attempt to power through their hangover. Not only does the latter impact the speed and quality of their performance — it can also pose a serious risk to coworkers, particularly if your employees are in a safety-sensitive position.
As an employer, you can do your part to curb this by reviewing workplace policies, including disciplinary actions, regarding sick days and working while impaired. Also be sure to review your policies with all supervisors so that they apply the policies correctly if disciplining their staff. If reasonable suspicion testing is part of your workplace testing program, now is a good time to go over what qualifies as reasonable suspicion with management.
To cut down on March 18 absenteeism, you could consider offering a late start day or providing a catered lunch. This will provide an incentive for employees to get back to work.
Happy (Sober) St. Patrick’s Day!
This March 17, may the luck of the Irish be with you and your workplace. When it comes to the safety and productivity of your workplace, though, luck isn’t the only factor involved. With a sound workplace drug and alcohol policy by Test Smartly Labs, employers can rest easy, even amidst Irish revelry.
For more information or to get started today, contact your nearest Test Smartly Labs.