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March Madness: Let the Workplace Distractions Begin


Bert Brannen was quoted in AJC on March 17, 2015. The article “March Madness: Let the Workplace Distractions Begin” discussed how companies lose as much as $1.9 billion in wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers as they become glued to smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices to watch games, check scores and nurse their office pool brackets during March Madness.

Bert said, "nobody wants to work for a killjoy" but employers should be aware that allowing employees to keep track of the tournament on company time carries with it potential legal risks.

For example, allowing some workers to follow the tournament while others continue to work may open companies to fairness complaints and even possible discrimination claims, Bert said.

Allowing workers to use company computers to solicit involvement in pools could also open companies to demands that employees be allowed to use those same computers to solicit support for organizing a union, he said. Solicitation policies must be enforced uniformly, according to the National Labor Relations Board, Bert said.

"Employers should strive for a middle ground," Bert said.

To read the full article, please visit AJC.

This article was picked up by Tri-City Herald on March 17, 2015.


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