As the workday grows ever longer, an increasing number of companies are offering alcohol as an office perk, according to The Wall Street Journal. Employment lawyers say the trend can lead to problems including drunk driving, assault, sexual harassment or rape.
Companies offering alcohol on site say it helps attract employees, connects them with others in different divisions, and encourages them to stay in the office longer. Some employers stock full bars and beer fridges, while other offer on-site taverns.
Employees who don’t drink for health or religious reasons, or who are recovering alcoholics, can feel excluded and uncomfortable when their coworkers drink in the office, the article notes.
Providing alcohol at the office also brings up liability issues. Employment lawyer Craig Annunziata told the newspaper if an employer serves alcohol and something goes wrong, the company may be held responsible. He adds some of the risk could be covered by liability insurance. “I’m not seeing a lot of upsides when there is alcohol in the workplace,” he said.