August 2022: Minimum Age Lowers for Alcohol Servers Under a State Certification

16 Aug

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Update Applicable to:
All employers of restaurants in the state of Alabama.

What happened?
On April 14, 2022, Governor Ivey signed Act 2022-383 into law, which changes the minimum age restriction for alcohol servers under a specific certification.

What are the details?
Effective July 1, 2022, the minimum age for alcohol servers in restaurants will be 18 years old so long as the restaurant is certified annually under the state’s Responsible Vendor Program.

Below are quick summaries of what the act changes for the restaurant industry:

  • Allows 18-, 19- and 20- year-olds to serve alcoholic beverages in restaurants, provided they do not work as bartenders. It specifically prohibits 18- to 20-year-olds from pouring or dispensing alcoholic beverages. The restaurant also must be certified annually as a responsible vendor under the state’s Responsible Vendor Program.
  • Allows wholesale licensee or off-premises retail licensee employees under 21 years of age to “handle, transport, or sell alcoholic beverages, provided the employee is working within the scope of his or her employment.”
  • Eliminates the up to 30-day jail time for juveniles and employers while increasing the civil penalties for businesses for underage violations to $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

In August 2022, the Alabama Department of Labor published a revised Child Labor Laws poster, improving the poster’s legibility and expanding criteria for underage workers serving alcoholic beverages.

That poster can be found here, and it must be posted in a conspicuous location.

For more information, please see the links below:

Act 2022-383

Responsible Vendor Program

Alabama Child Labor Laws Poster

Labor Law Center Article

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, post the newly updated Child Labor Laws poster in a conspicuous location, and ensure that they are annually certified by the state Responsible Vendor Program if they intend to let employees under 21 serve/pour alcohol.

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