My brother is severely ill. He asked me to temporarily oversee his two businesses, one of which is a restaurant with a bar and liquor license. When he called and asked if I’d help him out, he made me promise I wouldn’t “gut everything.” (He considering me uber-controlling.)
Several things he allows worry me. I’m afraid I might be complicit if I allow these things to continue when I’m in charge.
My brother’s employees apparently think it’s OK to have a drink now and then when they’re working. Supposedly they pay for what they consume, but since we take in cash as well as credit, I haven’t been able to substantiate whether that’s true. I suspect my brother turns a blind eye to this and considers it a perk that keeps employees happy.
What are best practices for restaurants and bars concerning employee on-the-job drinking?
Contact the alcohol beverage control board in your state. The alcohol beverage laws in many states don’t prohibit licensees or their agents and employees from drinking.
Like many other smaller employers, many bar and restaurants lack policies banning alcohol use during working hours. Further, most restaurant and bar employees work hard and some party even harder. While some bars and restaurants prohibit drinking during or before shifts, other employers provide employees free end-of-shift drinks, Some allow bar employees to do shots with regulars.
These practices expose these employers to liability as employers can become liable if their employees get into vehicle accidents on their commute home. Allowing regular workplace drinking also places employees at risk, leading some of them to slip down the slope into alcoholism, which is endemic among bar and restaurant employees. When almost everyone an employee sees for a work shift drinks steadily, some employees forget that this isn’t normal behavior but more how people act when out for the evening or socializing.
Best practices? You may need to tighten your business’s parameters for workplace drinking. Employers take a real risk when employees drink on the job and then later drive, particularly if the employees drive to handle work-related duties. At the same time, if your brother has allowed alcohol as a perk, you’ll fight an uphill battle.
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