(Q.1) MY EMPLOYEES WANT A HALLOWEEN party the last hour of the day Oct. 31. I want to be a good guy, but after seeing them at other holiday parties, I'm hesitant to encourage this. They get wild. Also, time is money. This will mean a couple of hours of no work and no money. How do I avoid being a Halloween "Scrooge."
(A) PARTIES ARE MORALE BOOSTERS, so they have some value, according to Susan Heathfield, About.com's HR expert. But there are some legal downsides. Costumes and parties open the company to liability, she says. Costumes may cause tripping, or walking into walls because of a mask. Costumes may be improper and someone may bring liquor, which also brings problems. Some companies have great parties if they set rules and you can too. The party will certainly make you popular among your troops.