Philadelphia Employment Law News

Philly Beer Week: Does This Make It OK to Drink at Work?

It looks like the third annual Philly Beer Week is upon us. This means plenty of establishments having special events, and that may busy up your favorite watering hole. So, you may ask, if the bars are full, can I crack one open in my office to avoid the crowds?

That's what was happening at the offices of the Philadelphia Inquirer, where the tasting and judging was to take place for the 48 beers entered this year. Young staffers asked whether the large amount of beer being brought to the office was for an office-wide beer pong competition.

Maybe that would be where to draw the line at office drinking.

Drinking at work is not prohibited outright. However, you do need to keep in mind where you work. If you say, drive a truck, or teach, there are definitely laws against drinking at the workplace. Indeed, even if you had a contract, drinking while operating heavy machinery would be "good cause" to fire you.

But, you ask, what if I work in an office? Can I be fired for having a drink there? While it is not technically against the law to drink in an office, it might be against your company's policy. This is where you need to dust off your employee handbook and read up on the rules.

Now, what if you're on the other end of the spectrum, someone who doesn't want a nice tasty beer to relax? Could you face repercussions for not imbibing at a company retreat? Well, if you were fired for this reason, you probably have a wrongful termination complaint.

In Philadelphia, and all of Pennsylvania, you cannot be fired for adhering to the law. In this case, you would have a good argument for not wanting to violate the drinking and driving laws. Because if you are not a drinker, one drink could possibly push your blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

Enjoy Philly Beer Week! Avoid these workplace issues by going to the events, they should be fun.

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