Is California Cracking Down on Booze in Shared Office Spaces?


Shared offices--which offers those without physical offices the ability to rent office space--have become increasingly popular in modern times. Many shared office companies offer attractive perks in their offices, such as snacks, coffee, and even booze. But as the San Francisco Chronicle reports, alcohol in shared offices spaces has attracted the attention of the California government:

Inside WeWork, a co-working company that caters to young professionals with its amenity-heavy spaces, some members in California have been asking: Where did the beer go?

Easy-to-rent desks with plenty of Silicon Valley-style perks, including beer, have long been part of the sales pitch to WeWork’s tenants and investors, and helped propel the company to a $20 billion valuation.

But when the taps recently got shut off in California, some startups housed at WeWork wondered what happened...

Companies don’t need a liquor license to provide alcohol in their offices, as long as the employees aren’t paying for it. But WeWork, which is based in New York and has a number of Bay Area locations, is in an unusual situation. It’s a landlord, not an employer, to the people working in its buildings. And that puts it in a gray area under the law — highlighting how innovative businesses create new legal questions faster than regulators can keep up...

WeWork doesn’t have a liquor license in California — and under state law, it’s not clear whether it can go without one if it wants to serve alcohol to building occupants. When asked about the beer removal, a spokesman said the company is talking to state officials, but declined to elaborate..."

Read the rest here.