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TABC Certification is required by your employer, not by law

November 15, 2016
TABC Certified Responsibilities

It’s true. TABC certification is not required by law. It’s also true that I’ve worked in the restaurant industry here in Texas virtually my entire life, and for most of that time I incorrectly thought TABC certification was a legal requirement. But why is that? Why are so many seller-servers under the incorrect impression that TABC certification is legally required? Probably because every single one of their employers has required it.

That’s the thing – Even though TABC certification is not technically mandated by law, it might as well be because so many employers require it. I’m not privy to any statistics, but I’d bet the overwhelming majority of employers across the state require their employees to be TABC certified. So why do employers require it? What’s in it for them? Primarily two things:

First, it’s good training. The TABC certification course deals primarily with two issues: Avoiding alcohol sales to minors, and avoiding alcohol sales to intoxicated people. As such, the TABC certification course teaches how to properly ID customers, how to refuse a sale, how to cut people off, signs of intoxication, and many other important topics. These topics are extremely relevant when it comes to doing your job well. Any schmuck can sell or serve alcohol. But being on top of your game, keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors and drunk people, and keeping drunk drivers off the road requires an entirely different level of job performance. Our on-site and online TABC certification courses teach this.

Second, your employer has a lot on the line. And by a lot, we mean their alcohol license/permit. That alcohol license or permit is issued by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), which is the state agency that regulates the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas. Long story short, the TABC kindly offers your employer protection against having their license or permit revoked in certain circumstances so long as all employees are TABC certified. This protection is called “Safe Harbor.” Let’s say you or one of your coworkers sells alcohol to a minor. You can still be arrested, charged with a criminal offense, fined, and sued in civil court for damages. Your employer can also still be fined. But in this instance, the TABC agrees to not revoke your employer’s alcohol license or permit so long as certain conditions are met. You can read about the conditions in one of our previous blog posts here.

So put yourself in your employer’s shoes. You’re hiring a bunch of employees who you’ve never met before, and your license or permit to sell alcohol is on the line. Just like your employer, I bet you’d want to protect your business as much as possible, too. You would also want to protect your employees from criminal and civil liability by ensuring they’re well-trained. You would also want to protect your customers and those they may come in contact with after purchasing or consuming alcohol at your establishment.

TABC On The Fly is licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to teach the TABC certification course both online and on-site. To get TABC certified online, just go to our homepage and click “Enroll Now.” To schedule an on-site TABC certification class for your staff, email us at sales@tabconthefly.com. 

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