Companies nationwide cut corporate Christmas parties as local co - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Companies nationwide cut corporate Christmas parties as local company reacts to concern


Madison (WKOW) -- New fallout from the nationwide conversation involving sexual misconduct and harassment.  Businesses are now feeling the heat and it may mean you don't get a holiday work party.

A new survey asked more than 150 human resource departments if they're holding holiday parties.  11% said they were nixing them this year, that's compared to only 4% not having one last year.

Only 48% of employers will serve alcohol this year, that's down from the nearly 62% of company parties that offered alcohol in 2016.

At The Cooper's Tavern, the popular downtown restaurant has no trouble filling Christmas and holiday parties.  They are packed with only one opening.  Luckily for Kleenmark's President, they got their request in, in time.

"Part of my token of appreciation to our employees is putting together a Christmas party," Kleenmark's President Scott Stevenson said.  While looking over the venue, he explained what he plans to do to keep his staff safe. He says that means limiting alcohol and encouraging everyone to bring a 'plus one.'

'We highly highly encourage people to bring their spouses or significant others so others feel included; it's minimizing the risk of any litigation," Stevenson said.

The company also offers UBER rides home or a hotel room to prevent risky driving situations.

It's all because litigation linked to sexual advances is on the rise this time of year.

"People will get through the holidays and they ok I need to address this so we get a lot of phone calls in January," Attorney Jessa Nicholson Goetz said.

She says with the "Weinstein effect" and what's happening in the national spotlight, she's ready for victim cases to snowball.

"We've hit a point in time where people who have been victimized are more willing to speak up

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