How #MeToo could change office parties - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

How #MeToo could change office parties

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

It's the time of year for office parties, but in the midst of #MeToo and more accusations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, companies are considering party changes.

When employees gather for mixing and mingling, Human Resource experts say companies may want to take a closer look at the choices they make 

"It's not a bad idea to eliminate it, I would suggest if you're not going to eliminate it don't have an open bar and limit the drinking," said Attorney Ira Murkin.
Dominique Henderson says alcohol is a problem when it alters normal behavior.  "That definitely can happen , I think it happens a lot," Henderson said.

 Something else Murkin suggests leaving out of the party is the traditional mistletoe.  "I  think that's kind of an invitation to plant a kiss on somebody and I would get rid of the mistletoe," said Murkin.

Colleen Murray of Youngstown says that In a party atmosphere, women need to keep their guard up ."Especially when you're trying to enjoy the company with other people you work with and maybe not knowing them very well,".

"Your company should have a sexual harassment policy and it should remind employees that the party is no exception to the application of that policy," according to Attorney Murkin.

He adds that if a complaint is filed after the party. "You need to take those complaints just as seriously as you would any other sexual harassment complaint,".

A survey conducted by a Chicago-based consulting firm found that only 49 percent of companies plan to serve alcohol at their holiday events. That compares to 62 percent of companies surveyed last year. 

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