Don’t Let Halloween Create a Workplace Nightmare

According to our 2022 Workplace Culture and Pay Practices Survey, 28% of employers surveyed have an employee theme day – this includes Halloween. There are many ways to have a fun time with Halloween at work. Employees can get creative with spooky baked goods; a favorite is always the dirt worm cake! Or bring in tasty fall treats, such as pumpkin bread and apple cider.  

Another fun way to bring employees together is to have contests for the best office decorations or costumes. There are some very important disclaimers that should be considered when encouraging employee costumes: 


Employees should not wear costumes that inhibit their job functions or could create a safety risk. For example, a machine operator still needs to be able to complete their tasks and should avoid flowy objects that could get caught in the machine. 

Company Dress Code

All costumes should remain in line with the company’s everyday dress code policy. Employees are still at work and must maintain a professional image. Employees should be reminded this means no revealing clothing and that they must still comply with tattoo policies or anything else that is unique to your organization. 

Stay Away from Controversy

This is a very broad spectrum, which makes this the most complicated issue. It should be clear that anything derogatory in nature towards age, color, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, or veteran status is off limits. Further topics to avoid are politics and weapons. Props that resemble guns, knives, etc. are not allowed. 

Also, keep in mind not everyone celebrates Halloween.

Make sure your company messaging around Halloween activities stress they are optional and consistent with your EEO policies.  

All managers and employees should be informed of these guidelines prior to the Halloween festivities. Managers need to further understand their duty to enforce these points and be prepared to send employees who don’t comply home to change. All while not forgetting to have fun! 

Written by a Catapult HR Advisor