Heading to the Shore . . . Or Maybe the Beach

beach-chairs-and-oceanDon’t know the difference?  Residents of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania sure do.  “The Shore” refers to the New Jersey Shore and all of the wonderful towns that it includes.  “The Beach,” on the other hand, refers to the Maryland and Delaware Beaches, including Ocean City, Maryland (not to be confused with Ocean City, NJ, of course), Rehobeth, and Lewis, Delaware, to name a few. 


Any self-respecting East-Coast native knows that Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with the start of the summer.  And with the summer comes the shore or beach, depending on your current geography.

And what, you ask, does this have to do with employment law?  Lots, actually.  Just ask the blogosphere.

Dan Schwartz, at the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, for one, can point to three e-law items with strong ties to the beach season.  All three are right on target.  He reminds employers to take a refresher course in vacation and paid-time-off policies.  Because, let’s face it, the major highways aren’t log jammed on Fridays at 1 p.m. by mere coincidence.

Dan also points out the need to be aware of the very common summer parties where interns may bring a bit more casual approach.  Hey, let’s face it, once August comes around, it’s not their problem anymore.  Permanent employees, though, must carry with them the effects of their conduct at the end-of-summer BBQ.

In fact, the only difference between the pool party or the Margaritaville fiesta and the office holiday party is that one involves, in fact, expects, there to be a lot fewer layers of clothing.

Just looking at this combination alone, you can derive several potential concerns.

  1. Young summer interns.  Remember, the EEOC is watching over them and watching you in the meantime.
  2. Summer parties that start at 8 p.m. instead of the holiday party, which starts at 4 p.m.  No one can leave the office early during the summer workweek (Monday – Thursday) because they need to get enough done not to feel guilty when they take a half day on Fridays.
  3. Margaritas, Daiquiris, and other fruity concoctions go down easy all year round but most especially when it’s 85 degrees and 89% humidity.

Of course, I love summer as much as the rest of the East Coast summer junkies and, by no means, am I trying to spoil anyone’s fun in the sun.  But employers beware.  The cocktail above serves up a legitimate legal liability.

Have a great holiday weekend!