Should we discontinue ‘casual Fridays’ that include beer and wine ‘happy hours’? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Should we discontinue ‘casual Fridays’ that include beer and wine ‘happy hours’?

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Q. For several years, Fridays have been “casual days” for our employees. Beer and wine are served beginning around 4:30 p.m. We hate to stop this practice because our employees seem to enjoy it and there has never been a problem. Should we stop?

A. You probably should. Maintaining a substance-abuse policy while sponsoring alcohol consumption at work sends a mixed message and undermines your policy.

More important, there has been a trend by Texas courts to hold hosts liable when a guest has been provided alcoholic beverages and hurts someone in an accident on the way home.

While there may be nothing illegal about your practice, the safer course is to stop serving alcoholic beverages to your employees at the end of the workday. If you choose to continue, you should take steps to ensure that employees are not allowed to drive home intoxicated.

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