Getting Fired for checking Sports Scores at Work

Checking Sports Scores at WorkWere you fired for checking sports scores at work?  As an alternative, were you given a formal warning for checking sports scores at work?  If so, please read on.

Primarily, there are two times during the year that workers tend to get fired for checking sports scores at work, although certainly not exclusive.

This law office sees workers are getting into trouble when checking their fantasy football scores.  Also, this law office sees workers are getting into trouble when checking scores during March Madness.

Can you get fired for checking sports scores at work?

Obviously, workers are getting fired for checking sports scores at work – but is this legal?  Unfortunately, it depends on the situation.  During a consultation, this law office will review whether you were checking scores on your phone or on the company’s web site.

Also, this law office reviews the policies in place for technology at your workplace.  Just because your employer doesn’t have  a formal policy doesn’t imply you have been given permission for checking sports scores at work.

The most significant issue is where you work.  In other words, the rules applicable to your situation depends on the State where your place of employment is domiciled.checking sports scores at work

Minnesota’s opinion on checking sports scores at work:

Minnesota Court of Appeals decision A10-146 affirmed that an employee’s use of a cell phone was employee misconduct.  The Applicant argued that his cell-phone use was not misconduct because of the special considerations given to discharges resulting from a single incident.

Although Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(a) (2008), stated that misconduct did not include “a single incident that does not have a significant adverse impact on the employer,” since 2009 and applicable here, the statute provides: “If the conduct for which realtor [Applicant] was discharged involved only a single incident, that is an important fact that must be considered in deciding whether the conduct rises to the level of employment misconduct under paragraph (a).” Id., subd. 6(d) (Supp. 2009).

The Applicant testified that he occasionally checked sports scores on his cell phone for other employees and the video indicates that the Applicant used his cell phone on multiple occasions over a lengthy time.

Because the Applicant’s cell phone use was in knowing violation of the employer’s policy, the Minnesota Court of Appeals conclude that the Unemployment Law Judge did not err in determining that the Applicant was discharged for misconduct