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Should You Fire Your Employee for Gambling? Can You?

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on April 07, 2016 6:57 AM

Several JPMorgan employees were fired from their positions at the company after it was revealed that they were involved in gambling ring. They were fired shortly after when their activities started to raise the suspicions of Chase bank.

Vices are to be expected with employees sooner or later. But what should you do about it? Or more importantly, what can you do about it?

JPMorgan Fires Gambling Employees

It seems that JPMorgan breeds risky and sometimes stupid behavior.

Dealbreaker was told by their sources that a handful of JPMorgan employees were fired from their VP, associate, and operational roles for their involvement in a gambling scheme. Their little side fun started to unravel after Chase bank started questioning the employees' characterizing the movement of so much money as "Super Bowl Squares." JPMorgan quickly segregated the suspected group and conducted a CSI-like interrogation of each and every suspected player in the scheme. They were quickly culled from the herd.

Should You Do the Same?

Companies should be very wary of any employee's penchant for gambling. Gamblers tend to get desperate in finding funds -- and any business should all about protecting client property and confidences. This is exactly the type of environment that a gambler should be kept from, not within.

In-house attorneys should be diligent as soon as they walk into the door. If the employees in questions are "at-will" then it just got a whole lot easier to let your offending employee go. Be mindful, however, that you could still be facing a suit for wrongful termination anyway.

During the hiring process, a copy of your company rules these should be given from the get-go and unacceptable behaviors should be made absolutely clear. Stealing is obvious, but gambling is an unfortunate grey area -- unless they're gambling with client money. Many companies have not included on-premise gambling as a terminable behavior and this could be trouble. If you didn't include gambling in the list of prohibited behaviors when you hired the employee, you might have to find another angle to get rid of them.

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