Northwestern University

News & Analysis as of

NLRB to Review Graduate Assistants’ Petition for Representation

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) has voted 3-1 to reconsider whether graduate assistants at private, nonprofit higher education institutions are entitled to collective bargaining rights under the National Labor...more

Back-to-School Athletics Update

We are pleased to provide you with the following update authored by our new senior colleague, Jeffrey Orleans, former Executive Director of the Ivy League, who has joined our firm of counsel with a focus on athletics issues. ...more

Making Bad Choices: Title IX, Title VII and Ludlow V. Northwestern University

A prior post considered the case of Ha v. Northwestern University, in which the plaintiff claimed that Northwestern had violated Title IX by insufficiently disciplining one of its professors, Peter Ludlow, despite concluding...more

NLRB Ruling on Northwestern Football Players Highlights Need for Congressional Action on College Sports

In August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or "the Board") unanimously ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide whether college football players at Northwestern University are "employees" under the National Labor...more

Executive Labor Summary - July / August 2015

Quickie elections seem here to stay, but Senate Republicans aren’t giving up. On July 29, the National Labor Relations Board won another challenge to its “quickie election” rules pursued by employer groups. This time, Judge...more

NLRB Calls Audible — No Union for Northwestern

Over a year ago, the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Chicago concluded that scholarship athletes on the Northwestern University football team were “employees” within the meaning of the National...more

NLRB Decision on Student-Athlete Unionization a Win for Colleges, But Title IX Still in Play

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a unanimous decision on Aug. 17, 2015, dismissing a petition filed by Northwestern University scholarship football players seeking to unionize under the National Labor...more

National Labor Relations Board Releases Unanimous Decision in Favor of Northwestern University and the NCAA

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined to assert jurisdiction in Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), the union-organizing case involving grant-in-aid...more

NLRB Punts on First Down: Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction in Northwestern University Football Players Union Representation Case

The NLRB’s decision is limited to the facts presented by the Northwestern case, and the Board may assert jurisdiction in another case involving scholarship athletes at a later date. On August 17th, the National Labor...more

Northwestern University Football Players Can’t Vote for Union Representation …but it’s not over until it’s over…

Depending on your allegiance, “the Play” was one of either the most memorable or the most infamous moments in the history of college football. It happened in the final seconds of 1982’s annual “Big Game” between the Stanford...more

NLRB Declines Jurisdiction Over Northwestern Football Players — Punts to NCAA to Address Athletes' Grievances

On January 28, 2014, student-athlete members of the Northwestern University football team filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asserting they are “employees” of the university...more

The NLRB Unanimously Shuts Down Attempt to Unionize Northwestern’s Scholarship Football Players

In a long-awaited decision issued on August 17, 2015, the five-member National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) unanimously shut down an attempt by Northwestern University’s scholarship football players to become the first...more

Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Win Appeal Defeating Northwestern Football Players' Attempt to Form Union

The National Labor Relations Board announced on August 17, 2015 that it would not assert jurisdiction over Northwestern University’s scholarship football student-athletes in their bid to be recognized as “employees” and form...more

OFFSIDES: NLRB Punts on Whether College Football Players Can Unionize

Last year, in what was lauded as a potentially game changing decision (pun intended), Peter Sung Ohr, the Regional Director of Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) ruled that the grant-in-aid...more

NLRB Punts on Whether Northwestern University Football Players Be Allowed to Unionize

On Monday, the full National Labor Relations Board unanimously dismissed a petition by college football players at Northwestern who sought permission to unionize. This decision effectively overturned the regional director’s...more

NLRB Calls Out the Punt Team and Declines Jurisdiction Over Northwestern University Football Players

In a mild surprise given the current constitution of the Board (read – majority appointed by President Obama), the NLRB declined to assert jurisdiction in ruling on the petition of Northwestern University’s scholarship...more

NLRB’s Unanimous Decision Is Major Victory for College Sports

Yesterday, in a highly anticipated decision, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) declined to exercise jurisdiction over the College Athletes Players Association’s (CAPA) representation petition. CAPA asked the...more

The NLRB Chooses Not to Play

The NLRB has ruled on the representation petition for Northwestern University student football players. You’ll remember, last year, the NLRB’s Regional Director decided that student athletes who received grant-in-aid athletic...more

College Football Unions: The Refs Call Off the Game

On the eve of a new college football season, the referees at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) got it right on instant replay: they called off the game. In a ruling earlier today, the NLRB’s five Members unanimously...more

NLRB Punts on College Athlete Unions

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued the long awaited decision in the Northwestern University football union case. 362 NLRB No. 167 (8/17/2015). In a rare display of unanimity, the five members of...more

NLRB Sacks College Football Player Union Organizing Drive

Earlier today, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unanimously decided that college football players at Northwestern University cannot comprise an appropriate bargaining unit, squelching their attempt to form the...more

Northwestern University Football Players Can’t Form Union, NLRB Says and Refuses to Determine if They Are “Employees”

Northwestern University football players cannot form a union, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) decided today. The NLRB based its ruling on its duty to maintain stability in labor relations and notably...more

College Athletes as Employees

Spring 2014 saw the first ever attempt to form a union among Division I college athletes, specifically the football team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. The National Labor Relation Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”)...more

The National Labor Relations Board 2014 Year in Review - Overview of the Board's Significant Actions

Introduction - If the National Labor Relations Board seemed to be on the ropes in 2013, it certainly came out swinging in 2014. Last year, we reported that the Board faced a number of serious legal battles. Although...more

The Ends Justify The Means: Ha v. Northwestern University and Responding to Sexual Harassment Under Title IX

The recent decision in Ha v. Northwestern University, reiterates the leeway educational institutions have under Title IX when crafting a response to claims of sexual harassment. The plaintiff in Ha alleged that in February...more

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