New unemployment compensation law took effect Jan. 1; other retail-related laws already in effect

Throughout the 2019 regular session of the Alabama Legislature, the Alabama Retail Association communicated to its members about legislation that affects retailers. Read our 2019 regular session summary to learn more.

Of the almost 400 laws enacted by the Alabama Legislature in 2019, many pertain to retailers, including the more than a dozen enumerated below. Affected retailers should become familiar with these new laws. More information is available at the links after each law summary.


  • Starting Jan. 1, 2020, Alabama employers will save an estimated $42.3 million annually under a law that reduces the duration of Alabama’s unemployment payouts while increasing benefits. Learn more.


  • Starting Feb. 7, 2020, 18-year-olds in Alabama can begin to train for a career as a tractor-trailer driver. Learn more.


  • By Dec. 1, 2020, a nine-member task force is to report its findings to the Legislature on the impact of allowing wine to be shipped directly to Alabama consumers. The task force had its first meeting July 30 and anticipates it will report earlier than its legislated deadline. Learn more.



  • By Oct. 1, the Alabama Board of Pharmacy and the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners are each to draw up rules to govern collaborative practice agreements between licensed Alabama pharmacists and physicians. Learn more about this and other pharmacy-related laws.


  • As of Aug. 1, vape retailers in Alabama must have a tobacco permit from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, limit advertising and make no sales to minors. Learn more.
  • Starting Aug. 1, city councils and county commissions in wet areas can authorize Sunday alcohol sales by ordinance, resolution or referendum without first seeking legislative approval. Learn more.
  • The Alabama Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental foods program is transitioning from a paper-based to an electronic-based delivery system known as eWIC. South Alabama was the last region of the state to begin the transition. That section of the state began using the electronic system Aug. 5. Learn more.


  • Alabama becomes the 49th state with a pay equity law, starting Sept. 1. Learn more. Alabama Retail’s employment law partner offers options for employers in regard to our state’s equal pay law. Read recommendations.
  • As of Sept. 1, misrepresenting a pet as a service animal or an animal-in-training in public spaces or housing accommodations could be subject to a criminal penalty in Alabama. Learn more.
  • New standards for making interchangeable biosimilar substitutions for biologic medicines takes effect Sept. 1 in Alabama. Learn more about this and other pharmacy-related laws.
  • Starting Sept. 1, how a doctor notes if substitutions are allowed for a prescription updates to accommodate modern methods of communication. Learn more about this and other pharmacy-related laws.
  • As of Sept. 1, bars can make up to 5-gallon batches of infused liquor for on-premise consumption. Learn more.
  • Beginning Sept. 1, wineries, distilleries and breweries within entertainment districts can sell alcohol outside their business and within the entertainment districts. Learn more about this and other alcohol-related laws.
  • As of Sept. 1, small craft breweries (60,000 barrels or less sold annually) can have a financial interest in a brewpub while retaining the traditional transfer of alcoholic beverages from the manufacturer to the brewpub through a wholesaler. The new law also allows privilege or excise taxes on beer to be levied at the time the product goes from the brewery or brew pub to retailer rather than when it is sold for consumption. Learn more about this and other alcohol-related laws.

Originally posted July 29, 2019