Can a bartender be fired for accidentally reading an order wrong so poured an alcoholic drink instead of a non-alcoholic drink?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a bartender be fired for accidentally reading an order wrong so poured an alcoholic drink instead of a non-alcoholic drink?

A bartender made an alcohol drink accidentally by reading the order wrong. It was supposed to be a

lemonade instead of a lady lemonade, a made up drink that the establishment had recently added to the drink list. Can the establishment fire the bartender if the drink never left the bar? The server and a bartender by talking figured out it was the wrong drink. The bartender was fired for making a mistake when it never went to the customer.

Asked on May 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless this bartender had proetection under the terms of a union agreemnt or employment contract he was an "at will" worker. Accordingly, his employer could set the conditions of the workplace much as it saw fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). This means that he could have been fired for the reason given or for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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