by Bob Johnson
If you are an owner or general manager who allows your staff to consume beverage alcohol during the scope of their employment—i.e., “drinking on the job”—you ought to be taken outside and shot! Okay, that may be an exaggeration. But when you carefully examine this issue, allowing your staff to drink on the job is the ultimate act of stupidity,
irresponsibility, and disrespect for the welfare of your employees and your business. Owners and managers must protect their business from potential lawsuits, and allowing your employees to drink while they work leaves you wide open. You’re taking the chance of losing it all. So why would anyone put themselves in this position?
It may be common practice in many bars, nightclubs and adult nightclubs for bartenders, managers and entertainers to drink alcoholic beverages while on the job. But as bar management expert Bob Johnson suggests, it could be the worst mistake these people could make — and could put you out of business up there with …duh-h-h-h-h-h. Does the fate of your business really come down to how much the employees can slug away for you?
Ethyl alcohol affects judgment and impairs one’s ability to rationalize or perform a function that requires effective interpretation or quick reaction. “Misreading” a situation is commonplace for anyone consuming beverage alcohol, regardless of the amount consumed. Counting money, making a judgment call, responding to a pressure situation or settling a disturbance can only be done with a clear mind. Beverage alcohol is not a “performance enhancer”!
Legally, if there are damages or injury to a third party and you were involved in the situation in any way—and it was known that you were under the influence of alcohol at the time—your company and you have no reasonable defense. You just lost the case! You probably don’t have enough money to defend yourself in this kind of situation.
Medically, if there is injury to you while on the clock and you have consumed beverage alcohol in any quantity, worker ’s compensation will not pay for your medical treatment. You’re on your own. Because you work in a heavily scrutinized industry, management and staff must never be under the influence of beverage alcohol when confronted by a representative of local law enforcement or a governmental agency performing a routine assignment that wants to ask questions.