NLRB GC Files Complaint Alleging USC’s Football and Basketball Players are Employees

Robinson & Cole LLP

Are Division I athletes who play football and basketball “student-athletes” or “employees”? The National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel (GC) has filed a complaint against the NCAA, the PAC-12, and the University of Southern California (USC) alleging that these athletes (both scholarship and non-scholarship) are employees. The GC further contends that the organizations have intentionally misclassified these athletes as “non-employee student athletes” for the purpose of depriving them of their right to union representation to discourage them from exercising their right to engage in concerted activity, e.g., for the purpose of speaking out to improve their working conditions. The complaint sets a trial date of November 7, 2023.

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