From Your Good Friends At EarthGoat Legal -- Where Happiness is But a Lawsuit Away
Holiday Party Release Form
"By signing this form, I understand that I have been invited to attend a Holiday Party by the Host. By choosing to attend this event, I recognize that I'm doing so at my own peril, and that the premises may contain many hazards both known and unknown to the Host of the Holiday Party, including, but not limited to: icy sidewalk, icy steps, peanuts, Burl Ives recordings, "John Denver's Christmas with the Muppets," ginger bread, dog hair, Host hair, children of the Host, relatives of the Host, friends of the Host, pets of the Host, wife or husband of the Host, open flames, pointy Holiday tree branches, pointy Holiday tree ornaments, insufficiently stirred egg nog, electric wires, bright lights, flashing lights, ugly lights, jingle bells, fake snow, glitter, fruit cake, and/or pine needles.
By attending, I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Host from any liability, including but not limited to, that caused by the drinking or serving of alcohol, the possibility of the Host getting drunk and telling everyone what he or she "really" thinks about them, inappropriate dance moves, my own dance moves that may cause injury to myself, unfunny jokes, funny jokes, unflattering Holiday sweaters, disappointing gifts, or "regifting." I recognize that by hosting the Holiday Party, the Host is in no way expressing or endorsing any religion or point of view, including, but not limited to, the existence of Santa, the ability of Elves (herinafter referred to as Vertically Challenged Magical People) to build a Playstation 3, or the consumerism of the Holiday. The Host recognizes that "Santa" is an anagram for "Satan," but assumes no liability for this fact, despite Santa's recorded interest in red clothes and chimney soot. I also recognize that the Host has provided healthy snacks (including, but not limited to, carrot sticks, celery sticks, and cucumbers), and despite the proximity of said healthy snacks to the spinach dip, I indemnify and hold harmless Host for any weight I may gain during the Holiday.
While Holiday Party may or may not include a Yankee Gift Swap (where Party Guests exchange gifts, see attached Rules and Liability of the Yankee Gift Swap), I agree that this term is non-derogatory, holds no allusion or reference to this country's Civil War of 1860-1865, and that "The Yankees" is a registered trademark of the New York Yankees Major League Baseball Team, Inc. If I, at any time, or under any circumstances, find myself under any mistletoe, I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Host for any smooching dangers including, but not limited to, bad breath, chapped lips, too much lip balm, spinach dip lip blobs, any style propogated by the French, or peanuts. Finally, I agree to indemnify and
hold harmless Host for any fun or non-fun I may have."
N.B. Article from law.com:
Hosting a party at home involves more than planning a menu. A survey released today reveals that parties in homes and offices may result in trips to the courtroom for some.
Commissioned by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell's lawyers.com and conducted by Harris Interactive(r), the survey assessed U.S. adults'
vulnerability to common legal pitfalls during the holiday season.
Nearly one in four (24%) adults do not know that a party host who serves alcohol to a clearly drunk guest may be legally responsible if that person goes on to hurt or kill someone in a car accident. Yet one in five (20%) adults will host or co-host a holiday party this year at which alcohol will be served.
"Most states have 'social host' laws, which hold party hosts liable in certain situations if their guests who drink cause serious car crashes,"
said Alan Kopit, legal editor of lawyers.com.
"Such hosts may unwittingly put themselves in legal hot water by not carefully monitoring their guests' intoxication levels, particularly when they get in their cars. A few precautionary minutes when planning parties can save the time, money and the heartache of the legal ramifications of a guest's crash." Kopit added.
Check Your Coat, But Not Your Professionalism, at This Year's Office Party
Holiday office parties pose additional legal risks, the survey also uncovered. Twenty-nine percent of adults have experienced or observed sexual advances between people who work together at such gatherings, more than at any other work event during the rest of the year, including those that occur after-hours or on weekends or at the office during the work day.
"An office party can be the site of a sexual harassment situation just as much as the office," said Kopit. "Many people view an office holiday party as a fun, carefree gathering of colleagues, during which normal professional expectations are relaxed. In fact, from a legal perspective, just the opposite is true."
According to Kopit, the responsibility to ensure legal safety at holiday parties falls under the purview of business owners. According to the survey, however, many businesses regularly fail to take necessary precautions. Just 16 percent of Americans surveyed say that policy and behavior expectations, including those involving sexual overtures among colleagues, have ever been distributed prior to any holiday office party they attended.
Moreover, only 12 percent have been at a holiday office party at which car keys were collected and returned only to sober drivers. Less than one in three (30 percent) have gone to a holiday office party at which taxi or designated driver service was provided to any employee who needed it.
"There's no reason a business shouldn't celebrate with its employees at the end of the year," said Kopit. "But anyone responsible for such an event should make sure the business, and those attending, are legally safe. Letting everyone attending explicitly know what behavior is prohibited - including that which is flirtatious or sexual - can help remove sexual harassment problems."
"Keeping employees from driving after drinking at the party reduces potential liability of the business, and helps ensure guests stay safe and healthy to enjoy the New Year," Kopit added. "If a business owner is in doubt about the proper procedures to put in place at their office party, he or she should discuss their options with an attorney."