Hold the eggnog, folks — companies are tightening their budgets for holiday parties this year, and it isn’t because the economy is bad, according to recent marketing research.
Eleven percent of companies who responded to an annual survey said they won’t be hosting a holiday party this year, according to research by Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc, a HR research company. That’s up from 4 percent in 2016, the survey found.
And for those companies who do host a holiday party, fewer will be providing alcohol at the events. After booze-buying at holiday parties hit an all-time high in 2016 at 64 percent, just 49 percent of companies reported that they were buying alcohol for parties this year.
Andrew Challenger, vice president at the HR research firm, told MarketWatch that the year-to-year difference is “dramatic,” especially considering the economy is “chugging along.”
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“There’s no economic reason right now that we see these holiday parties being scaled back, and that’s why we think it could be an anomaly caused by the Weinstein effect,” Challenger told MarketWatch.
The “Weinstein effect” refers to the flood of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct reports since Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was first accused of sexual assault in the New York Times in early October. Since then, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, harassment and rape, NBC News reported.
After the news broke about Weinstein, actor Alyssa Milano, who is friends with one of Weinstein’s accusers, initiated the #MeToo campaign on Twitter to spark a conversation showing the magnitude of sexual assault.
Since early October, dozens of celebrities have been publicly outed for alleged sexual misconduct including Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Charlie Rose and most recently the “Today” show host Matt Lauer. Several politicians have joined the list including Sen. Al Franken, George HW Bush, and Roy Moore.
But the effects of the Me too campaign have gone beyond Hollywood and Washington D.C, as activist Tarana Burke, told the Las Angeles Times.
“This goes so far beyond Hollywood, this goes so far beyond the glitz and the glamor of what we’re seeing in the media — deep into the crevices of all parts of the world,” Burke told the newspaper.
A 2010 survey reported that 40 percent of respondents in a global survey had either engaged in “inappropriate behavior” at an office party or knew someone who had, the Guardian reported. More than half of those people were reprimanded for it, or knew someone who had been.
"We are actually in the harassment season," David Aduddel, an HR consulting expert who specializes in sexual assault claims, recently told KDVR.
Aduddel said more sexual harassment training takes place during this time of the year because complaints usually spike around Christmas time, KDVR reported.
Lawyers Courtney Nichols and Patrick Henry offered tips for avoiding trouble at Christmas time such as “avoid the after parties” and “don’t be that person” who hits on a coworker in the elevator outside the party, CBS Detroit reported.
People on Twitter had different ideas, such as changing behavior and reconsidering hiring employees who would likely engage in sexual misconduct.