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Super Bowl Fever: Tips for Keeping the Workplace Cool as Temperatures Rise

Super Bowl LIII is fast approaching.  The Big Game always brings excitement and can stoke friendly rivalries between employees rooting for different teams.  To ensure Super Bowl fever doesn’t cause the office to boil over, employers should consider the below tips to keep the workforce cool, calm, and productive as game day draws near.

1. Revisit and Communicate Time-Off Policies

Super Bowl LIII kicks off at 6:30 p.m. eastern time, and the game will likely last until (at least) 10 p.m.  Couple the late end time with the eating and celebrating that accompanies most Super Bowl parties, and odds are good that some employees will show up late to the office the next day (or will call out). To that end, employers may wish to take the opportunity, early, to revisit with employees the organization’s workplace vacation or paid time off (PTO) policy.

Additionally, management officials should communicate the employer’s time-off policies and process/system for time-off requests and approvals, paying attention to communicating any first-requested, first-approved, workplace coverage and seniority requirements, before employees (and HR) find themselves confronted with denied requests, disappointments, and morale issues.

2. Address the Dress Code

Workplace dress codes vary across professions, industries and even specific company/office cultures. For some employers, the big game may provide a great – and sometimes, needed – opportunity to reiterate to employees attire that is and is not, appropriate in a particular workplace. Maybe team jerseys, hats, and tees are encouraged in some workplaces, but in others, they are considered too casual for business casual. Remind employees, again, of the organization’s dress code policy.

If the employer has not implemented a formal dress code policy, consider taking the opportunity to work with management to develop, and communicate, a policy that informs employees of appropriate attire in the particular workplace. At a minimum, communicate the employer’s expectations for workplace attire. Finally, always review applicable federal, state and local laws and guidance for applications of dress code requirements among certain protected classes.

3. Remind Employees of Standards of Conduct

Playful banter between employees rooting for opposing teams has the potential to turn sour quickly.  Employers may wish to take the opportunity to remind their workforce of the employer’s standards of conduct and to treat all employees, customers, and vendors with courtesy and respect. 

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California


About this Author

Jay M. Dade, Polsinelli PC, Employment Discrimination Claims Attorney, Wage and Hour Disputes Lawyer

Jay M. Dade is an experienced labor and employment lawyer who counsels clients on:

  • Day-to-day personnel management and union management issues, including alcohol and drug testing policy implementation and enforcement

  • Federal and state wage-hour matters

  • Discrimination claims arising under federal and state law

  • Family and Medical Leave Act matters

  • Unfair labor practice charges, union...

Cary Burke, Polsinelli PC, Atlanta, Workplace Regulation Lawyer, Employment Compliance Attorney

Cary Burke takes pride in bringing an assertive and strategic brand of representation to clients as a member of Polsinelli's employment litigation team. He partners with employers to address employment-related problems ranging from the day-to-day questions to workplace investigations employers may face in an increasingly regulated workplace. Cary's practice focuses on assisting employers in litigating claims involving trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and tortious interference. Cary also has litigated issues arising under the Civil Rights Statutes and the National Labor Relations Act. Cary values working diligently with the legal and management teams of his corporate clients as well as individual defendants to achieve their individual and business goals. His ability to build strong relationships with those who have “boots on the ground” promotes a seamless flow of information, which allows Cary to identify key matters and strengths and weaknesses in a case.