Education Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Education issues written by leading professionals.
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IRS releases updated safe harbors for management contracts in tax-exempt bond-financed projects

On August 22, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2016-44. The purpose of this revenue procedure is to provide revised and broader “safe harbors” under which certain private management contracts will...more

Back to School: NLRB Takes Aim at Colleges and Universities

Seyfarth Synopsis: The National Labor Relations Board issued three important decisions this week that will significantly impact private colleges and universities....more

In Final Exam, Court Rejects Hearst Interns’ Pay Claims

Unpaid interns for Hearst magazines have been rebuffed again in their effort to be declared eligible to receive wages under the FLSA and the New York Labor Law. In an August 24, 2016 ruling, Judge J. Paul Oetken of the...more

Student Assistants Win Right to Unionize at Private Colleges and Universities

Reversing longstanding precedent, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that students “who have a common-law employment relationship with their university are statutory employees under the [National Labor Relations]...more

IRS Loosens Restrictions on Safe Harbors for Management Contracts for Bond-Financed Property

The Internal Revenue Service, in Revenue Procedure 2016-44, has loosened the restrictions on safe harbors for management contracts entered into by governmental issuers of tax-exempt bonds in connection with facilities...more

Texas District Court Enjoins Federal Gender Identity Protection Of Students

Seyfarth Synopsis: In State of Texas v. United States, a District Court issued a nationwide injunction to enjoin the Department of Education and Department of Justice from enforcing their guidelines on accommodations for...more

Third Circuit Rejects Class Certification for Widener Law Grads

A panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow class certification for a group of Widener University School of Law Graduates who allege that the law school inflated postgraduate employment rate statistics in...more

Class Action Retirement Plan Litigation Hits Higher Ed Hard

In recent weeks, multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against private, nonprofit universities across the country alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and claiming millions of dollars in damages for retirement plan...more

NLRB Rules that Student Assistants Can Unionize; Debate May Now Shift to Whether They Should

In a sweeping decision issued on August 23, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its 2004 holding in Brown University that graduate students are not employees under the National Labor Relations Act. The Board...more

NLRB Holds Student Assistants Who Have a Common-Law Employment Relationship With a Private University Are "Employees" Under The...

In an August 23, 2016, decision, Trustees of Columbia University, 364 NLRB No. 90 (2016), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled existing precedent and held that student assistants, who have a common-law...more

NLRB Decides Private University Teaching and Research Assistants Can Unionize

Continuing a recent trend of upending long-standing decisions, the National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that student teaching and research assistants at private colleges and universities are statutory employees who...more

IRS Relaxes Restrictions on Management Contracts for Bond-Financed Facilities

The IRS on August 22, 2016 released long-anticipated Revenue Procedure 2016-44 (Rev. Proc. 2016-44), which substantially increases flexibility in, and provides a less formulaic approach to, the ability of a tax-exempt bond...more

NLRB: Student Assistants Now Employees Entitled to Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in a 3-1 decision that graduate students at private, nonprofit higher education institutions "who perform services at a university in connection with their studies are statutory...more

Student loan complaint update highlights IDR plan application issues

The CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman has released a new “Mid-year update on student loan complaints” that highlights issues related to income-driven repayment plan (IDR) application issues. The update covers complaints...more

NLRB Reverses Over a Decade of Precedent: Student Employees Entitled to NLRA Protection

Reversing more than a decade of precedent, the activist National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on August 23, 2016 in The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York and Graduate Workers of Columbia–GWC, UAW...more

NLRB Rules that Graduate (and Undergraduate!) Students are Employees and May Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board (Board), in Columbia University , has issued a 3-1 decision holding that graduate, and undergraduate, student assistants are common law employees within the meaning of the National Labor...more

NLRB: Student Teaching Assistants Can Be Employees Under the NLRA

In a 2-to-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or “the Board”) overturned longstanding precedent to hold that student teaching assistants can be classified as employees under the National Labor Relations Act...more

California Ballot 2016: Pros and Cons of Props 51-56

Californians must decide on 17 initiatives in the November election this year, and those are just the proposed measures of state-wide concern. Never mind the many local initiatives affecting counties and neighborhoods. The...more

NLRB Gives Students Right to Unionize

Undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants now have the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining, following the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Columbia University ruling on August 23, 2016. For most...more

NLRB Paves Way For Student Unionization

Seyfarth Synopsis: The NLRB ruled that students who work as teaching assistants at colleges and universities are “employees” under the NLRA and are thus permitted to engage in collective bargaining. On August 23, 2016,...more

Half-Baked: Phillips Exeter, Sexual Assault, And A Recipe For Disaster

Considered one of the country’s most elite prep schools, Phillips Exeter Academy has recently joined the queue of prestigious private schools who have been accused of having ignored, suppressed, or minimized claims of sexual...more

NLRB Classifies TAs as Employees

The NLRB chose not to interfere with collegiate football. Northwestern University, Case 13-RC-121359 (August 17, 2015). Collegiate teaching assistants, though, are another thing. In Columbia University, Case 02-RC-143012...more

NLRB Declares Student Assistants Can Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board today opened the door for further unionization efforts at institutions of higher education by finding that student assistants are employees and therefore eligible for union organizing. Its...more

Student Assistants are now Considered Statutory Employees under the NLRA

In its 2004 Brown University decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that graduate student teaching assistants were not employees because they were “primarily students” and their relationship with the...more

NLRB Holds That Grad and Undergrad Teaching Assistants at Columbia University Are “Employees”

In a 3-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that “student assistants who perform work at the direction of their university for which they are compensated are statutory employees.” In The Trustees of...more

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