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The Debate About College Athletes as Employees Moves to the National Labor Relations Board

On January 28, 2014, players on the Northwestern University football team filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") seeking union representation. The petition is the first of its kind and, if successful, the Northwestern football team would be the first group of college...

The Wage-and-Hour Implications of the NLRB’s Northwestern Football Player Ruling

By now you’ve likely heard that yesterday a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern University’s scholarship athletes are “employees” of the university covered by, and entitled to organize under, the National Labor Relations Act [ an enhanced...

Northwestern University Football Players Can Unionize, Says NLRB

CHICAGO -- National Labor Relations Board Region 13 Director Peter Sung Ohr issued a decision yesterday in the case ( 13-RC-121359 ) brought by Northwestern University football players seeking to unionize, concluding that all grant-in-aid scholarship players for the football team who have not exhausted...

Student Athletes Could…Go…All…The…Way…to the Bank

On Wednesday, the Regional Director for the Chicago Region of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") ruled that football players receiving scholarships from Northwestern University are "employees" for the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). This ruling...

NLRB Unanimously Declines Jurisdiction in Northwestern Football Player Unionization Case

The National Labor Relations Board has declined to assert jurisdiction in which Northwestern University grant-in-aid scholarship football players sought representation by the College Athletes Players Association for the purpose of collective bargaining. On March 26, 2014, the NLRB Regional Director for...

NLRB Punts on Northwestern Football Union

Yesterday, the NLRB issued its long-awaited decision in the Northwestern University football team's union bid. So, are college football players employees, or not? The NLRB drops back... annnnnd... it's a punt! You can read the decision and a press release . In short, the NLRB declined to exercise...

NLRB, College Athletes, and the Case That Doesn’t Really Matter

Yesterday, the NLRB closed its book on the attempt of Northwestern University’s scholarship football players to unionize, not with a thud but with a whimper. The NLRB unanimously passed on the issue of whether college athletes are “employees”, and instead held that the NLRB lacked jurisdiction...