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Do workers waste more time when March Madness begins?

Frank Kuzmits, U of L Management Professor

"You can't stop the assembly line, you can't interrupt surgery, you can't stop my lecture…"

U of L management professor Frank Kuzmits is talking about the jobs that must go on—even when the ball games, brackets and betting pools begin during March Madness. Kuzmits disagrees with studies that estimate close to 900 million dollars worth of worker productivity is lost because of office pools.

Kuzmits continues

"In many cases an employee is not going to slack off on his or her job because of march madness pool. Second, if employee isn't wasting time on a betting pool, they'll waste it on other things."

He says a recent study by the Society of Human Resources Management indicates at least one-third of the companies polled have betting pools, and not just for march madness.

Kuzmits adds

"The FBI estimates $2.5 Billion are wagered on the NCAA tournament. Only $80 Million are bet legally."

Kuzmits says it's illegal, just like the Saturday night poker game at somebody's home. He says the annual workplace ritual should only be a concern if an employer believes it's a true threat to productivity.

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