Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NLRB’s Northwestern Ruling Sets a High Bar for Approving Student-Athlete Unions

The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 18th, 2015

The National Labor Relations Board decided on Monday to reject a bid by football players at Northwestern University to form a union.
More than a year after the five-member board took up the issue, it released a unanimous decision saying that the board was "declining to assert jurisdiction" in the case because allowing athletes at a private university to organize would not "promote stability in labor markets."
The board did not rule on the core issue of whether athletes who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees, seeming to leave open the possibility that other groups of student athletes could attempt to organize a union. However, experts in labor law and college athletics say the board was simply dodging a difficult issue and possibly even making it harder for similar groups to unionize in the future.

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