Some employers plan to remove alcohol from holiday parties

It's the holiday season, but some employers are feeling less than cheery about the series of high-profile workplace sex scandals taking over the headlines. The typical office holiday party may change as a result.

Now, a number of companies are eliminating alcohol all together from their annual gatherings.

The number of company parties serving alcohol is down about 20 percent this year, according to a survey. Other companies are hiring party monitors, issuing drink tickets and using other means to control how much you drink on their watch.

A Chicago consulting company says the economy has something to do with it; however, many suspect all the high-profile workplace sex scandals have something to do with it.

"It helps both sides of the table. Keeps people from getting themselves in a situation they don't want and then the company does have to be responsible for the situation that might arise," Dr. Monique Howard said.

"The question is--is this just the one piece or does this help bring us down the path?" asks employment attorney Heather Herrington. "The path to real change in long-engrained social behavior."

Herrington, also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, says people are correct to question if the corporate actions we're seeing produce more than a knee-jerk reaction.

"That would be a concern both personally and professionally. Not just the policies, the lip services, the videos, but what are you really doing in your company to make a real change?"

According to Herrington, there are companies that have been making significant changes, and those tend to have more diverse management teams and cultures that are more open and inclusive.