By tgelbman@littler.com

The holiday season is upon us – a time when many companies (and/or managers) may be organizing holiday parties, decorating offices, throwing off-site parties or holding secret gift exchanges among coworkers. Many employers, however, do not realize the risks involved with celebrating the holidays and its festivities, including the potential for inadvertently involving religion or culture-specific activities and discussions in company-sponsored events.

There are several issues employers should proactively watch and plan for during this holiday season.

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From: ‘Tis the Season – For Potential Employer Liability

    

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From: CEO Departures Decline in November, but Exec-Search Market Strong

    

Employees who alleged they remained in their jobs after the employer made oral promises of a bonus upon completion of the sale of the company, which bonus was never paid, had adequately pled claims for promissory fraud (concealment), breach of contract and promissory estoppel, the California Court of Appeal ruled, reversing dismissal of those causes of action.
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From: Calif.: Employees May Proceed with Fraud Suit for Unpaid Bonus

    

As common issues predominated regarding whether the employer had a policy of denying compensation for certain pre-shift work in violation of California’s wage and hour laws, denial of class certification was not appropriate, the California Court of Appeal ruled, reversing the lower court.
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From: Calif.: Wage-Hour Class Action Challenging Employer’s Policy on Pre-Shift Work May Proceed

    

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From: Year-End Checklist for Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors

    

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From: Have a Plan to Keep from Overindulging at Holiday Parties