What to do if the other night at work I carded a young man and discovered he was underage so wasn’t going to serve him but my boss threatened my job if I didn’t?

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What to do if the other night at work I carded a young man and discovered he was underage so wasn’t going to serve him but my boss threatened my job if I didn’t?

He said to me, “You want to keep working here don’t you?”. So I had to serve him. I need my job. What legal grounds do I have, if next time I refuse to serve a minor?

Asked on December 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An employer does not trump the law: an employer may not require employees to violate the law. Furthermore, if an employee refuses to violate the law and is fired for that refusal, the employee would most likely have a wrongful termination claim or lawsuit. Conversely, if you do violate the law (so, serve an underage drinker) and are sued (e.g. by his family, if he is injured; or by someone injured by him) or arrested, it is no defense to say your boss told you to do it; you could be held accountable for your violation.


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