Skip to main content

Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)

Original Author: Shechter, Leslie
Date of Material: 08/31/1992

Alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages--Laws and regulations
Beer--Laws and regulations
Businesses--Laws and regulations
Children and youth

Employing Minors in Establishments That Sell Beer

Reviewed Date: 07/15/2021
MTAS was asked whether minors may be employed in establishments that sell beer.

August 31, 1992

You have asked whether minors may be employed in establishments that sell beer. The answer is yes.

You have correctly pointed out one of the statutes that deals with this issue. T.C.A. § 57-5-301(e)(1) allows persons under the age of twenty-one to have beer in his possession if such possession is in the course of employment. I believe the statutes allow persons eighteen years of age and older to work in establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and beer and, in fact, allow them to obtain a permit to do so. I am enclosing an Attorney General opinion that discusses the subject in detail.

The opinion discusses T.C.A. § 1-3-114, which provides that those over 18 "shall not be prohibited from entering into any profession or from performing any services on the basis of his minority." The opinion omits discussing T.C.A. § 1-3-113, which provides that while those under 21 cannot purchase, possess, transport, or consume alcoholic beverages, wine or beer:

Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older may transport, possess, sell, or dispense alcoholic beverages, wine or beer in the course of his employment.

These two statutes appear to restrict a municipality's authority to regulate the employment of people between the ages of 18 and 21.

Thanks for asking MTAS to help.

With kind regards,

Leslie Shechter
Legal Consultant