March Madness in the Office

by Evil HR Lady on March 15, 2011

Dear Evil HR Lady,

My coworker is running a March Madness pool. People are paying $5 to place bets. Gambling is illegal in our state and I’m afraid he’ll get busted. Should I tell the boss or HR?

March Madness in the Office

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Stay out of it and mind your own business. If he gets caught it's his problem – why are you even getting yourself involved in this?

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm

"Anonymouse tip line" and "promotion opporutnity" are two phrases which come to mind here.

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Mike C. March 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Is your workplace is engaging in tax evasion or discrimination or human trafficking – something that's actually harmful? Grow a spine and report it to the authorities.

Minor gambling that is legal in many states? Get over yourself.

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Anonymous March 16, 2011 at 6:57 am

If you're afraid he'll get busted, why would you tell on him? Wouldn't telling his boss or HR get him busted faster? I don't follow your logic. Why not just tell him "I think what you are doing is possibly illegal, you might want to verify whether it's ok or else stop" and then let it be out of your hands.

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Another Evil HR Director March 16, 2011 at 11:22 am

I honestly think that with all the truly serious issues we have to deal with on a daily issue, that this is pretty much a non-issue. A little innocent fun, whether with college basketball or fantasy football, is pretty tame; as long as it's not interfering with his or other participants' jobs.

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Lauren March 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Mike C. has it. Unless it's actually harming someone, ignore it and move on. If the employee him/her to participate. It would be a different matter if employees were "strongly urged" (read: forced) to take part and ostracized if they declined.

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Lauren March 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Whoops – looks like I inadvertently deleted a big chunk of my comment prior to posting. That third sentence should read:
"If the employee doesn't like it, no one's forcing him/her to participate."

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HR Solutions March 17, 2011 at 12:05 am

Unfortunately, "the whistle blower" isn't always received too well. I'd say the March Madness if kept in the right balance, may be a way to build morale and connectedness amongst co-workers.

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newresource March 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

This is one of those fine line situations. I worked at a place where the gambling pool or bracket pool got really high, like $1500. A couple of folks didn't want to pay up, there was no violence but there was some heated moments. If you are in HR, I would recommend sending an reminder email, that March Madness is fun and free.

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