NLRB Blocks Northwestern Football Union Petition

Aug. 25, 2015, 4:00 AM

The National Labor Relations Board Aug. 17 unanimously dismissed a union’s petition to represent football players at Northwestern University, ending a yearlong effort by the College Athletes Players Association that attracted national attention and sparked a vigorous debate about the legal rights of college athletes (Northwestern Univ., 2015 BL 263380, N.L.R.B., 8/17/15).

An NLRB regional director in Chicago ruled in March 2014 the university’s scholarship athletes were employees under the National Labor Relations Act who could vote on unionization in a secret-ballot election. However, the board’s five members decided to dismiss the election case, concluding it “would not ...

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