As you may be aware, Act 39 of 2016 (“Act 39”) took effect on August 8, 2016, and it brought with it much confusion with regard to the many aspects of the Liquor Code. One area that has brought the most confusion is with Act 39’s new Responsible Alcohol Management Program (“RAMP”) requirements for licensees, specifically for the servers/sellers of said licensees.
One of the new requirements in Act 39 with regard to RAMP compliance read that “Unless successfully completed prior to being hired, all alcohol service personnel shall be required to complete the training for alcohol service personnel under subsection (b) within six months of being hired by a licensed establishment.” The highlighted language “all” is what caused confusion among licensees. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“PLCB”) recently released an Advisory Opinion regarding Act 39’s RAMP requirements for newly-hired and current servers/sellers. The question posed to the PLCB was whether the new RAMP requirement applied to just new server/sellers as of August 8, 2016, or did it apply to current server/sellers and all new server/sellers after August 8, 2016. The PLCB’s response can be highlighted in the following bullet points:
- All new alcohol service personnel (any employee whose primary responsibility includes the resale, furnishing or serving of liquor or malt or brewed beverages) hired on or after August 8, 2016 must complete the RAMP Server/Seller training within 6 months of their hiring date. This applies to employees of the licensee that become alcohol service personnel on or after August 8, 2016.
- All existing alcohol service personnel as of August 8, 2016, are not required to complete the RAMP Server/Seller training, unless it is mandated upon the licensee by a conditional licensing agreement or other provisions of the Liquor Code.
- Newly-hired alcohol service personnel that are currently RAMP Server/Seller trained, must be re-trained when their current training expires within one year after the training expires (i.e. if your new employee’s Server/Seller training expires on September 25, 2016, that employee must complete Server/Seller training by September 26, 2017).
Stay tuned to the NMM Liquor Law Blog for continued updates on Act 39, where we will be posting updates on the interpretations of Act 39 and the practical implications and issues that Act 39 has on licensees.
For information regarding national and state liquor law matters or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact our Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group: Liquor Law Department Chair Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire (email@example.com); David C. Berger, Esquire (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Pennsylvania and New Jersey retail and manufacturing licensing; or contact our offices at 610-391-1800.