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NY State Liquor License Lawyer Guest Q&A: Can you hire an applicant with a criminal conviction for a felony to work in your restaurant which has an on premises liquor license?

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores resolve various issues related to their liquor licenses as well as obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: Are there any restrictions on who I can hire to work at my restaurant at which I have an on premises retail liquor license to serve beer, wine, and liquor?

Along with getting your liquor license and opening up your restaurant, you also have to make many business decisions including who you hire to ensure that your establishment succeeds. Our leading, award winning Westchester County Employment Law Attorneys have provided many businesses with practical, cost efficient solutions and ideas to develop best practices at the start of their business to avoid any future embarrassment, fines and penalties associated with violations, or unnecessary litigation. Our attorneys can help you make sure that you hire qualified employees who are legally allowed to work at your restaurant.

If you are an establishment with an on premises retail liquor license, you cannot knowingly hire a person who has been convicted of a New York State felony or other offense. ABC law §102.2 specifically provides that no person holding any license, other than a license to sell an alcoholic beverage for retail consumption off-premises or a license to sell an alcoholic beverage at retail for consumption on the premises where such license authorizes the sale of liquor, beer and or wine at a catering establishment, hotel, restaurant, club, or recreational facility, shall knowingly hire any person who has been convicted of a felony, or any of the following offenses listed in this section. Call our attorneys to conduct your due diligence when hiring to avoid any potential problems with the SLA. Our attorneys will conduct background checks, see if any exceptions apply, and make sure that your hiring practices are within the confines of the law and do not violate any employment laws.

The section also provides exceptions for persons convicted of a felony who have received an executive pardon, thereby removing any civil disabilities, a certificate of good conduct pursuant to article 23 of the correction law, or other relief from disabilities provided by law, or the SLA’s written approval allowing such employment.

ABC law §102.2 also provides that once the SLA gives written approval to a licensee to hire a person who was convicted of a felony or any offenses listed in this section, another licensee can hire that person in the same capacity without having to get written approval again unless the prior approval was terminated or if the person was later convicted of a felony or other offense.

Our attorneys are experienced with all types of liquor licenses. If you’re not sure what your specific license entitles you to or prohibits you from doing, call our attorneys to help you avoid the high cost of violations. Our attorneys are also experienced in obtaining liquor licenses for your restaurant, wine or liquor store, grocery store, catering establishment, hotel, or any other type of establishment in an expedited manner. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you get your liquor license quickly so that you can focus on opening your establishment.


Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

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