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Nearly 70% of Employees Polled in a Recent Survey Admit to Playing at Work


The Pokémon Go craze has taken over America, from millennials to baby boomers. However, if you are venturing to PokéStops during the workday, you could find yourself gathering unemployment paperwork instead of Poké Balls, cautions Art Lambert, partner in the Dallas office of Fisher Phillips. Fisher Phillips is a management-side labor and employment law firm with 33 offices nationwide.


Pokémon Go, launched in early July, holds the Guinness World Record for being the most downloaded mobile game in its first month. Downloads of the app now total more than 130 million, with adults over the age of 25 representing a surprising 40 percent of those with the app, according to a company that tracks app downloads and social media usage[1]


“Texas is an employment-at-will state and employees can be fired for anything nondiscriminatory, which may include lost productivity due to playing Pokémon Go when they should be working,” said Lambert. “A recent poll by Forbes that surveyed more than 66,000 employees found an astonishing 70 percent played the game while on the clock.”


Here are the top five reasons you may get fired for playing Pokémon Go at work:

  1. Prowling around while work piles up. Your boss pays you to do your job. If you are out catching Pokémon while on the clock, it is like stealing time and money from your employer.
  2. Battling Pokémon may compromise data and use up bandwidth. If you are connected to your company’s Wi-Fi, you may be opening the door for hackers to attack your company’s network. Additionally, you are using up your company’s bandwidth and data, slowing down the internet connection for everyone. 
  3. Catching more than Pokémon. The app records everything while you play. You could be capturing your company’s confidential information and trade secrets.
  4. Risking your safety. You may be risking the safety of you and others around you by wondering into hazardous areas or playing while driving. Your employer has a duty to protect you and other employees under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
  5. Looking like a child. How will your boss respond if approached by a client who saw you in the hall on a Pokémon quest? Clients need to feel you are focused on them.

[1] StartApp, a company that tracks 600 million users for downloads and social usage.

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