Cases & Deals

The University of Notre Dame, Trustees of Boston College, and Brigham Young University file amicus brief with NLRB in support of Northwestern University's challenge to finding that scholarship student-athletes are "employees"

Clients University of Notre Dame

In the case of Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association ("CAPA"), Jones Day is representing the University of Notre Dame, Trustees of Boston College, and Brigham Young University as amicus curiae in challenging National Labor Relations Board Regional Director Peter Ohr's decision that scholarship student-athletes on Northwestern's football team are "employees" of the university and eligible to form unions under the National Labor Relations Act. This significant issue goes to the fundamental nature of the relationship between universities and matriculating students who receive grants-in-aid to cover all or part of the cost of their education. The case has also potentially far reaching ramifications for intercollegiate amateur athletics, raising questions regarding the proper treatment of student-athletes under not only NLRA but a host of federal and state employment, tax, workers' compensation and other laws potentially applicable to participants in college sports. In addition, the NLRB has indicated that it is considering modifying or overruling its prior holding in Brown University, 342 NLRB 483 (2004), which held that graduate student assistants were not "employees" for purposes of the NLRA where they remained "primarily students" in their relationship to the university.

Northwestern University, Case No. 13-RC-121359 (NLRB)

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