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Labor & Employment


Third Thursday--C&M's April Labor & Employment Update: Northwestern NLRB Case

April 17, 2014 • Webinar

Please join us for the next edition of Third Thursday – Crowell & Moring’s Labor and Employment Update, a webinar series dedicated to helping our clients stay on top of developing law and emerging compliance issues.

This month’s program covers the startling recent decision by the Regional Office of the NLRB granting scholarship student athletes in the Northwestern University Football Program legal status as employees entitled to form a labor union. Although the decision, if affirmed by the National NLRB, will have the most immediate impact on private universities, we expect there will be ramifications for public universities as well. 

The decision regarding Northwestern University was announced in the context of a string of high profile challenges by other student athletes to the current playing field in college sports programs, including the commercial use of student athletes’ likenesses without compensation, scholarship terms for student athletes, revenue sharing with the NCAA, and the long term health-care needs of student athletes.  

Already state legislatures have taken notice of these developments, as has the US Congress. These challenges, and the ramifications of the NLRB decision if upheld, potentially will impact universities’ obligations in a broad range of areas, including, e.g., the FLSA, title VII, title IX, the Equal Pay Act, ERISA, COBRA,  and the federal tax and antitrust laws -- and portend a sea change in the status quo of collegiate sports programs and their operation within the academy.

With the union election decision scheduled for April 25, 2014, our panelists will lead a roundtable discussion of the prognosis for Northwestern, and the potential ramifications for both public and private institutions.

Please click here to listen to a recording of the webinar. Please click here for a copy of the presentation and supporting documents.

Crowell & Moring Participant(s):
Thomas P. Gies
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2690
Laurel Pyke Malson
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2576
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