Holiday Office Parties Down This Year -- You May Be Off the Hook!

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Holiday parties are usually a horrific ritual inflicted on employees who must attend. Thanks to belt tightening this year, reports Bloomberg Business Week, you might be off the hook.

The number of companies conducting holiday parties is down to 79 percent of those surveyed by executive search firm Amrop Battalia Winston. Incidentally, that's down 16 percent from the number held during 2002 through 2004.

The companies still carrying on this tradition might be only doing it to send a positive signal to employees that they're not going out of business. If they deep-six the party, they fear employees will assume the firm is in trouble and panic.

If you're among the employees saddled with attending an office party, it could be just a little bit more awful this year than last. That's because only about 58 percent are serving alcohol. You bet: They fear liability from possible drinking and driving as well as sexual harassment incidents.

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