September 8, 2014
Partner Barbara E. Hoey was quoted in the Law360 article “How Employers Can Avoid Getting Blitzed By Fantasy Football.” The article reports on employers concerns around fantasy football in the workplace and the legal issues that may arise from the activity. While employers are concerned about productivity and the violation of gambling laws, they realize that fantasy football can also encourage camaraderie and communication between workers, building team spirit. Ms. Hoey notes that, “if it's managed correctly, it can be a really positive thing. Make sure employees don't allow it to interfere with their work, make sure employees don't exclude anyone in a way that looks discriminatory or downright mean, and train managers to remind everyone that while we are in fantasy football season, the regular rules still apply.”
Ms. Hoey also points out that employers need to beware of leagues where people in the office put in money that funds a prize for the winner. “Technically, that's gambling, and gambling in most states is illegal. You certainly don't want to encourage or allow anything in the workplace that is illegal.” Instead, offer a nonmonetary prize like a trophy, she suggests.