Our colleague Dan Long recently contributed an article to Employment Matters titled, “National Labor Relations Board Grants Student Assistants the Right to Unionize at Private Colleges and Universities” that highlights the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that student assistants have unionization and collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act. This ruling ultimately reversed its 2004 decision in Brown University, which withheld graduate students from unionization rights due to the fact that they were not considered employees under the NLRA. For an in-depth explanation of the Board’s ultimatum, click here.

With stunning speed, the balance of power between collegiate athletes and the institutions they play for has changed.  Recent events at the University of Missouri may feel like a tectonic shift but the preceding tremors had been evident for some time.  In this new normal of student-athlete coordinated action, universities will need to be prepared to swiftly address legal, operational, health and welfare, and fiscal concerns which affect student-athletes.

Two years ago (and in a sign of things to come), a group of football players at a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) institution decided they reached their breaking point.  Despite a series of complaints to their university administration, the underlying feeling was concerns were not being addressed.  In this instance, the institution was Grambling State University and the football team was upset with what they viewed as unhealthy training conditions, substandard facilities and poor travel arrangements which exhausted the team before games.  The players also were unhappy about the termination of then-head football coach Doug Williams and the failure to address his transition with the team. Continue Reading Preparing for a New World of Collective Action by Student-Athletes

Our colleague Michael Arnold recently posted an article to Employment Matters titled, “Unpaid Intern v. Employee Classification Analysis Must Look at Who is Primary Beneficiary of Relationship, Second Circuit Holds“.  Arnold discusses the Second Circuit’s announcement of an employer-friendly test to determine who benefits more from an internship – the individual or the employer.  Arnold elaborates upon the Primary Beneficiary Test as used in the lawsuit in question, Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., and how the test persuaded the Court to reach its decision.  He cautions, however, against employers claiming victory in the ruling. Continue Reading Unpaid Intern v. Employee Classification Analysis Must Look at Who is Primary Beneficiary of Relationship, Second Circuit Holds