General counsel are party planners — not with menus, music and margarita machines but with managing the legal risks of the holiday season.

First, there are naming issues. Some people believe that businesses should call a Christmas party a “Christmas party,” and that doing otherwise is to cave-in to political correctness. Sorry, but it’s 2006; times have changed. Holiday parties are just that: “holiday parties.” They shouldn’t promote Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Otherwise, an employer inadvertently may create an environment in which an employee feels uncomfortable or discriminated against.

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