VIDEO: Should Small Business Owners Allow Alcohol at Work Functions?

Date: July 02, 2014

Social functions are great for company morale, but small business owners can face substantial liability if employees have too much to drink at a company event.

Beth Milito of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center says employers should take steps to manage the availability and consumption of alcohol at work functions.

"Your best bet is to manage the situation carefully, enforce certain limits and require employee moderation and good judgement," Milito says.

Milito offers the following suggestions: 

  • Emphasize that attendance is voluntary and that the function is a social event.
  • Make it clear that employees who become intoxicated will face disciplinary actions later.
  • Remind employees that workplace rules apply.
  • Limit the availability of alcohol and have substantial food available.
  • Have a designated monitor.
NFIB’s Small Business Legal Ease is a web video series with Beth Milito of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center discussing laws and regulations affecting the right of small business owners to own, operate and grow their businesses.

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