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This year’s Super Bowl will take place in the newly constructed US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN, on February 4, 2018. In addition, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee will be hosting a 10-day "Super Bowl Live" celebration beginning January 26 for visitors and residents to join in. All of this activity has some local employers wondering if there is anything they should be considering as it relates to the workplace.
Super Bowl celebrations will include concerts, events, and activities for visitors and locals to enjoy. This may result in tired employees coming to work late or perhaps calling in sick. Consider offering a flexible, temporary arrangement during this time. This could be a shift that could start one or two hours later. This encourages employees to plan ahead and gives them some extra recovery time without sacrificing the total number of hours worked.
For the Monday after the Super Bowl, some sports-enthusiastic employers will recognize that day as a "holiday" and give employees the day off. If employers consider this, they should communicate the special holiday policy prior to the Super Bowl.
Managers should expect that employees who participate in the celebration activities or have tickets to the game will want to spend time talking about it with co-workers, potentially resulting in decreased productivity. A breakfast or social hour is one way to channel the excitement about the game and the events in the area. This provides a perfect opportunity to socialize while having a positive impact on morale and employee engagement.
Office pools can be a great way to provide excitement and camaraderie. However, many states— including Minnesota—make betting illegal. There is an exception for private, social bets. To comply, the bet cannot be part of "organized, commercialized or systematic gambling" and the owner cannot derive any profit from the bet, organize regular occasions, or advertise their occurrence. Therefore, small, voluntary and spontaneous wagers between co-workers may be legal.
If the organization allows office pools on a limited basis, the activity should be monitored. Employers should also review their nonsolicitation policies. If employers allow their employees to solicit each other for office pools during work time, it may open the door inadvertently to other types of solicitation, including fundraising and union-related socializations.
Address when and where employees may engage in office pool activities. In addition, consider a different take on the traditional office pool rules. For example, an alternative could be a food drive where employees donate food to local pantries using the two opposing teams to see who can raise the most.
Employees Under the Influence
It is possible that employees who consume alcoholic beverages at the celebration events may report to work still under the influence. Employers should communicate, in advance, the company’s drug/alcohol policy and expectations and follow established processes for reasonable suspicion.
Safety is a high priority for event organizers and law enforcement. A variety of police resources will be used with the goal to promote a safe and fun environment at all Super Bowl event locations. To help keep fans safe, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is partnering with the NFL through the "If You See Something, Say Something™" public awareness campaign.
Security parameters will be established and will change as the Super Bowl approaches. Employers near or in security zones should be prepared to see concrete barriers with wire fencing, metal detectors, and possibly bag restrictions for employees and visitors.
The Minneapolis City Council has approved several street closures and lane restrictions around key venues. The goal is to ensure that those living and working in the City of Minneapolis can travel as conveniently as possible while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all major events.
Due to these restrictions, employees may face longer commutes. Encourage employees to plan ahead and consider allowing work-from-home arrangements, flexible start and end times, or making exceptions to the company tardiness policy during this time.
For further information on road closures, transit options, and recommended routes, visit the "Know Before You Go" webpage.
Employers who proactively address these topics and communicate well with their employees can minimize any workplace effects from the Super Bowl LII hoopla and instead enjoy the nation’s spotlight on a dynamic, celebrated city.
See our quick checklist, which highlights the main workplace issues.
As the spotlight shines on Minneapolis in the countdown to Super Bowl LII, join a panel of experts – including our very own Michael Hyatt, HR Legislative Affairs Director, for a unique 30-minute complimentary webinar on January 18, 2018, that will show that with a little planning, downtown commuters can get to work or work from home, do their jobs, AND join the fun. Learn three quick hacks for embracing the celebration taking place just steps from your office.
Source: Kim Kozlik, Human Resource Business Advisor, MRA – The Management Association