US States Allow Minors to Bartend and Serve Alcohol Due to Labor Shortage

Several US states have passed laws allowing minors to bartend and serve alcohol, a trend driven by the ongoing labor shortage.

In April, Iowa's state senate voted to allow teenagers to work later and serve alcohol.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin are pushing to lower the alcohol service age from 18 to 14 years old.

As of March 2023, at least nine states have introduced or enacted laws that would allow minors aged 14 to 17 to serve alcohol.

The National Restaurant Association, representing over 100 restaurant corporations, has lobbied in support of the trend.

However, critics argue that loosening child labor laws could expose minors to dangerous working conditions and exploitation.

In February, several McDonald's locations in Pennsylvania were accused of violating child labor laws, and a sanitation company was fined for employing minors in hazardous conditions.