Football season kicks off months of decreased productivity for some workplaces

Q&A with Charlie Plumb

published in The Oklahoman | September 12, 2017

Both college football and the NFL just recently kicked off their seasons, and some employers are already feeling the impact as employee participation in fantasy football leagues, game wagering, and Monday morning quarterbacking chatter sweep across the workplace.

In a Q&A with The Oklahoman, labor and employment attorney Charlie Plumb said that worker productivity is the number one casualty arising from workplace sports betting. The issue is complicated by the fact that, according to a recent poll of employers, 81 percent don’t have a policy addressing office wagering, and of those that did, only seven percent ever disciplined an employee for violating the policy.

Plumb advises employers to stay on top of the issue and address job performance issues and workplace policy violations early on before they expand.

“Don’t be afraid to enforce other policies affected by employees’ participation in the office pool or fantasy league,” said Plumb. “For example, does their activity violate your company’s policies concerning social media or internet usage at work? Addressing an office football pool in a commonsense manner is the best path to fostering workplace morale, while minimizing the potential problems that can occur.”