The Regional Director for Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held today that all grant-in-aid scholarship players for Northwestern University's football team are "employees" under the National Labor Relations Act. The decision went to great lengths to distinguish the standards articulated in the 2004 decision in Brown University, which determined that graduate assistants were not "employees." It also resembled the NLRB’s analysis in the New York University decision of October 31, 2000, which the Brown University decision specifically overruled. Northwestern has stated that it is appealing the decision to the full NLRB in Washington, D.C.

Attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment and Higher Education Groups have substantial experience with the issue of students as employees under state and federal labor law. Our attorneys can assist with unionization efforts, employee classification issues, and Title IX compliance.

For more information, contact David S. Fryman at 215.864.8105 or, or the member of the Group with whom you work.




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