It’s Halloween. What could possibly go wrong with a few costumes, pumpkin-flavored (insert food group here) and a random skeleton or two?  

Alas, there are a number of things that could pop up.

HR blogger Donna Ballman reminds us that Halloween has its origins in the Catholic religion, which could spark some problems for employees of other faiths. She cites:

  • Jehova’s Witnesses. They don’t celebrate holidays or even birthdays.
  • Some Christians. Some believe the holiday is associated with Satanism or Paganism, so they refrain from celebrating it.
  • Orthodox Jews: Don’t celebrate Halloween due to its origins as a Christian holiday. Other Jews may or may not celebrate.
  • Muslims: Many Muslims don’t celebrate Halloween, due to its roots in another religion.

What they’re wearing

And now we move on to costumes. Lots of companies have Halloween parties, and we’ve all seen how out there some people get when it comes to competing with their peers in the costume department.

That naughty nurse outfit may get a lot of attention — some of it unwanted and potentially unlawful.

Some costumes could be safety risks in manufacturing or warehouse environments.

And, of course, the refreshments

Naturally, the subject of alcohol has to come up when you talking about any employee holiday celebration.

You know the drill: Shut the bar early, have pre-assigned designated drivers, serve food, remind your people to act sensibly.

Sorry to rain on your Halloween parade. Stay safe.