The answer should be easy, but it’s not. Technically speaking gambling on sports (yes, even March Madness) is only legal in Nevada. In reality, the possibility of being punished for having an office pool is slim to none. “Many bosses and owners may laugh at the fact that their "little office pool" is actually illegal. And although the risk of prosecution is low, if you own the company, you need to be aware that March Madness can pose serious legal liabilities. “Says Maynard Ontario of Legal Zoom.
While it’s not fun to always be the “stick in the mud” it is your job as a HR professional or manager to keep the company safe from liability. If you can’t avoid the bracket madness, find some alternative small prizes instead of money to keep the games fun. Consider letting employees wear their favorite team jersey one day. Maybe keep the games on in the lunchroom or have a pot luck lunch during a game.
When in doubt, always refer back to your employee handbook and code of conduct. There should be rules concerning inter-office gambling and office betting that you can use. If you don’t have anything, consider adding something to address this topic.
For information of how MYCA Learning can help you achieve a harassment free and compliant workplace, visit www.mycalearning.com