1) Just because the party is off-premises does not mean there are no professional or corporate obligations. The employer and its managers are liable under the employment laws at off-premises parties.
2) Too much drinking, or offering too much liquor, is always dangerous. An employer can be liable for the issues created. A car service home is often a nice touch if drinking is involved.
3) Beware of cell phone photographs. These are easy to take and can last as evidence for a long time on the Internet. The questionable photo can wind up becoming an exhibit in a case of sexual harassment.
4) Be prudent with holiday gifts. Set a price limit that accounts for the different earning levels in the office so no one feels uncomfortable.
5) Holiday gags are fine, but keep them clean. Do not give a gift that you would embarrassed to have your grandmother see. There have been more than a few sexual harassment casesbased on sexually suggestive holiday gifts.
6) Be sensitive to the fact that not everyone at your party is Christian. Use the greeting of "Happy Holidays" if you suspect the person is of another faith.
7) Mistletoe is almost always a mistake at holiday office parties. It can lead to claims of sexual harassment.
8) As a business owner or chief executive, allow your managers to be extra flexibile at this time of year; especially if the employee needs to travel to see family. It helps to build employee morale.
9) This is the season of giving. It is often nice to encourage a charitable donation - like Toys for Tots - as part of your holiday event.
10) Have fun and keep work discussions out of the dialog if you can. This is the time to personally get to know the people you work with better while sharing the joy of the season.
Many workplaces have unofficial uniforms–say, collared shirts and slacks for men and professional-looking sweaters and pants for women. But recently, the Swiss bank UBS has taken the corporate dress code to the next level.
Echoing rules applied at Swiss boarding schools, UBS's guidelines go beyond a list of dress "do's" and "don'ts" by providing hygiene and grooming tips often dotted with aphorisms worthy of fashion and beauty magazines.
The bank expects staffers to wear suits in grey, black or navy blue, colors that “symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety,” according to the manual. No short skirts for female staff; the ideal length should reach the middle of the knee. Showy accessories and trendy eye-glasses are a no-no, too. Staffers are told to avoid strong fragrances, along with garlic and cigarette breath, the code says.
Meanwhile, for women, “light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick … will enhance your personality,” the code says, while advising women not to wear black nail polish and nail art. The hair-care section notes studies have shown that properly cared-for hair and a stylish haircut "increase an individual's popularity."
Do’s for women:
Wear your jacket buttoned.
When sitting, the buttons should be unfastened.
Make sure to touch up hair regrowth regularly if you color your hair.
Eating garlic and onions
Smoking or spending time in smoke-filled places
Wearing short-sleeved shirts or cuff links
Wearing socks that are too short, showing your skin while sitting
Allowing underwear to be seen
Touching up perfume during or after lunch break
Using tie knots that don’t match your face shape and/or body shape
Source: The Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2010
New data indicate that trends in nonmarital childbearing, divorce, and marital quality in Middle America increasingly resemble those of the poor, where marriage is fragile and weak. However, among the highly educated and affluent, marriage is stable and appears to be getting even stronger.
"When Marriage Disappears" is the first report to address the causes of the retreat from marriage in Middle America; it finds that shifts in marriage attitudes, increases in unemployment, and declines in religious attendance are among the trends driving the retreat from marriage in Middle America. And in a striking reversal of historic trends, highly educated Americans are moving to embrace a pro-marriage mindset even as Middle Americans are losing faith in marriage.
These are the main findings of the new report released today by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values. The National Marriage Project is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian and interdisciplinary initiative located at the University of Virginia. The project provides research and analysis on the health of marriage in America. The mission of the Center for Marriage and Families is to increase the proportion of U.S. children growing up with their two married parents.
Divorce rates are up for moderately educated Americans, relative to those who are highly educated. From the 1970s to the 1990s, divorce or separation within the first 10 years of marriage became less likely for the highly educated (15% down to 11%), somewhat more likely for the moderately educated (36 up to 37%), and less likely for the least educated (46 down to 36%).
The moderately educated middle (high-school-educated Americans who make up 58% of the adult population) is dramatically more likely than highly educated Americans (college educated Americans who make up 30% of the adult population) to have children outside of marriage. In the early 1980s, only 2% of babies born to highly educated mothers were born outside of marriage, compared to 13% of babies born to moderately educated mothers and 33% of babies born to mothers who were the least educated (high school dropouts who make up 12% of the adult population). In the late 2000s, only 6% of babies born to highly educated mothers were born outside of marriage, compared to 44% of babies born to moderately educated mothers and 54% of babies born to the least-educated mothers.
In an era when jobs and the economy are the overriding concerns, why should the nation care about the marriages of Middle Americans? The author of this year's lead essay, W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia, said, "Marriage plays a central role in securing the American Dream for countless Americans. Adults and children fortunate enough to live in an intact, married family are much more likely to succeed in school and the work place, to acquire a home of their own, and to experience upward mobility. The retreat from marriage in Middle America means that all too many Americans will not be able to realize the American Dream."
"One of the most striking findings in this report is that the cultural and economic foundations of marriage appear to be growing stronger among the educated and the affluent, even as they deteriorate among Middle Americans," noted Wilcox. "Whatever highly educated Americans may think about social issues in general, and they often take a progressive position, when it comes to their own lives, they are increasingly adopting a marriage mindset and acting accordingly."
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