Northwestern University

News & Analysis as of

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

Is the NLRB’s Brown University Decision on Its Last Leg?

The National Labor Relations Board’s treatment of college and university students as “employees” covered by the National Labor Relations Act has been the subject of a tortured history. In the Fall of 2000, in a case...more

Will the Star Quarterback Be Sacked by the Taxman?

On March 26, 2014, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided scholarship football players at Northwestern University are employees because they “perform services for the benefit of the employer...more

Northwestern University's Football Team Is Scheduled To Vote On Union Representation

At the end of March, in a landmark decision, the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Chicago held that Northwestern University’s scholarship football players are “employees” who can vote to be...more

Players union vote a secret, for now.

On April 25, 2014, Northwestern University football players cast a historic vote on whether to unionize. However, their ballots were sealed , and the result of the secret ballot election will not be known for months -...more

NLRB to Decide Whether Northwestern’s Scholarship Football Players Are Students or Employees

Late yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, D.C. granted the request for review (i.e., an appeal) filed by Northwestern University in the much-watched case involving the status of Northwestern’s...more

What Exactly is the Long-Term Impact of the NLRB’s Decision? Part 3

While the Northwestern decision applies to private universities, there is a good chance that this rule would affect public universities as well. States have individual statutes and related administrative bodies that govern...more

Student-Athletes: Are They Employees?

Digging Deeper into the History of the NLRB’s Decision and Northwestern’s Appeal - This case started when the “College Athletes Players Association” (“CAPA”) was formed as a union created to represent the Northwestern...more

Northwestern/Harvard Research on Effects of “Casual” Marijuana Use Points to Need for More Research

As states, including California, continue to grapple with the medical marijuana/decriminalization question, scientific evidence continues to trickle in concerning the negative health effects of marijuana use. According to...more

This Week’s Starting Lineup Brought to You by the NLRB

After a disappointing Saturday loss, a college quarterback returns to practice Monday to find his coach ready and willing to revisit the weekend and remind the quarterback that his starting position and scholarship are on the...more

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