Christmas Party Harassment Ends a Career

by Michael Haberman on December 20, 2017 · 0 comments


With all the headlines about harassment today, I thought I would republish this story of how harassment at a company Christmas party ended badly for an HR manager.  

Being Santa can backfire on you if you are not careful with the holiday "cheer."

Being Santa can backfire on you if you are not careful with the holiday “cheer.”

There is no lack of horror stories associated with holiday parties. Since this is the Monday before Christmas I will tell you a short one that ended a person’s career.

T’ was the week before Christmas and a fog had settled down on Santa’s head. Santa, in this case, was the sales division HR Manager and the fog was alcohol induced. He had responsibility for four offices. One Christmas he shows up at the largest remote office, uninvited, and dressed as Santa. It was bad enough that he crashed the office party uninvited but then he proceeds to drink way too much “holiday” cheer.  

“Santa” then sits down and invites the women in the office to “Sit on Santa’s lap because he has a package for them.” As you can imagine that did not go over very well. Fortunately, the Sales VP of the office took control and removed the HR manager from the scene and sent him home. He was promptly fired the next morning.

So a horror story for him. The company responded quickly and appropriately and suffered no harm. And I gained big time because the next person hired to replace the guy was ME. I learned that holiday cheer can go a bit too far. It also just goes to show that it is not always the folks outside of HR that you have to watch out for.


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