Bloomberg Law
Sept. 23, 2016, 7:09 PM

Will College Athletes’ Labor Rights Follow Grad Student Ruling?

Lawrence E. Dubé
Lawrence E. Dubé

A recent NLRB ruling has raised the question of whether the board has moved the ball on the issue of college athletes’ unionization rights.

The National Labor Relations Board held Aug. 23 that graduate research assistants at Columbia University are employees who have a right to vote on whether they want to be represented by a labor union for purposes of bargaining with the university (Columbia Univ., 364 N.L.R.B. No. 90, 207 LRRM 1089 8/23/16).

But the board ruled a year earlier that scholarship football players putting in long hours and receiving substantial benefits at Northwestern University couldn’t ...

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