During a normal farewell party for an employee at a sports bar after work, I was making the rounds and chatting with all of my employees, meeting their spouses, before departing early. As their boss, I do not stay at parties like this very long when there is alcohol involved, more of a quick one drink, say hello to everyone, and leave type of policy.
Before I was about to leave, there was one employee and his wife that I had not said hello to during the evening. I politely came over, greeted the employee and wife and thanked them for coming. The wife, who I then quickly realized was very inebriated, basically lashed out at me and told me I have no respect for my employees, I’m running the business wrong, etc. Realizing this was really inappropriate, the wife was really drunk, this not being a good situation, I politely told the wife that I’m sorry she feels that way and that we can talk about it more another time, basically doing everything I can to remove myself from the conversation. The husband (employee) stood right behind her within earshot but did not stop her or speak up whatsoever the entire time. I got away but right as I was leaving, he came up and asked “what did she say to you?” which I believe is an act.
How do I approach my employee and tell him that his wife’s actions were inappropriate? I am typically very passive, but this interaction caught me off guard, and I feel the need to stand up for myself. I am a firm believer that the employee is responsible for the actions of their guests during an office party.