PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It is that time of year for the company holiday party. Research shows businesses are scaling back when it comes to office celebrations. Some are cutting spending, others are forgoing the open bar this year to avoid inappropriate behavior.
Phoenix Attorney at Law David Selden says if you are attending your company's get together, keep in mind you can be disciplined and even fired for behaving badly.
"Even though it's a holiday party and it may be off premises and it may be after hours," Selden says. "It should still be treated as though you're at work."
Here's his advice for the five things to make this holiday party season go smoothly and lawsuit-free:
1) Limit alcohol intake
Selden recommends companies use drink coupons instead of hosting an open bar. Also, hiring a professional bartender can help monitor those who have been overserved.
2) Eat plenty of food and drink water
Companies providing liquor for guests should also have plenty of hearty food and water available for guests, Selden says.
3) Line up a ride home
Selden says have a designated driver arranged or utilize a ride share service like Uber or Lyft to avoid a DUI.
4) Socialize in moderation
You may want to watch what you say around your coworkers, even if you're making a joke.
"Joking should not be at the expense of anyone else," Selden says. "It should not refer to age, race, sex, national orgin or physical appearance."
5) Keep your hands to yourself
"Definitely do not hang mistletoe!" Selden says. "Sexual assault at a holiday party would not be tolerated and would be grounds for termination."
He says, managers and supervisors should be on the lookout for inappropriate behavior and bring it back to a professional level before anything gets out of hand.
"You wouldn't want people to have conflicts on Monday morning because of what happened at the holiday party Saturday night," Selden says.