In the movie Wayne’s World, Wayne and Garth encouraged each other to “Party on!” with virtually no restriction on what type of partying that should be. However, unlike in the movie, the City of Greensboro is giving out some pretty strict dictates on what can and cannot happen for city employees at holiday parties.
This week, the Rhino Times noted that the city’s Human Resources Department sent out a set of instructions as to how city offices could be decorated – inclusively and secularly.
Well, the same department has also provided guidelines for partying this holiday season. Needless, to say, in 2022, office Christmas parties are a lot more reserved than those in the era of “Mad Men,” in the 1960s – when getting drunk and hitting on coworkers or underlings was brushed off as just good fun.
The email this week, from Greensboro Human Resources Director Jamiah Waterman to city staff, states: “Now that your decorations are up, bring on the holiday parties! Right? Well, not so fast. Although your departmental holiday party or event may be a great way to boost morale while spreading holiday cheer, proceed with caution to avoid legal pitfalls while organizing and hosting such events.”
The first advice/rule offered calls for department heads to hold their parties off- site during non-work hours rather than on a city-owned site during the day.
“Do not publicize the event or imply that it may be supported by tax dollars,” the memo states.
Department heads are also instructed not to require attendance at the party or allow any work-related activities to take place there.
As for attire, ugly Christmas sweaters are acceptable; however, employees are instructed not to wear their city work uniforms or city badges.
Eggnog with no alcohol in it is fine, but unlike Wayne and Garth’s parties, where you can drink what you want, the city isn’t so accommodating: “Alcohol service at City Facility is restricted by City Ordinances. In addition, the City’s Discipline Without Punishment Policy – see List of Expected and Unacceptable Employee Behavior or Performance – requires all employees to ‘maintain a safe, drug and alcohol free work environment.’ This extends to off-site office parties, even if held after normal work hours.”