Liability of Businesses 020210 (audio)
By Eryn Clement
The House Commerce Committee heard testimony for a bill that extends protection for bars or facilities that sell alcoholic beverages. The bill applies to all employees, but lawmakers focused on individuals under the age of twenty-one while discussing the bill.
House bill one-thousand four is before the House Commerce Committee this week. If minors are caught drinking during work hours, it would hold them liable and not the employers. But it's not just for minors. If an adult employee consumes alcohol during work hours and has an accident, they too are accountable and not necessarily the business owner. Tim Dougherty is with the South Dakota Retail Liquor Dealers Association. He says they worry who will be at fault in certain situations involving alcohol.
“Our concern is if an employee either an adult employee who is legally consuming alcohol becomes intoxicated and injures somebody on the way home or a minor in a grocery store or convenient store steals the alcohol from the employer becomes intoxicated and injures somebody are we now going to hold employers liable,” says Dougherty.
Final action on the House bill will take place on Wednesday in the House Commerce Committee.
Member stations can download audio file here.