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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Of Course Student-Athletes Are University Employees

Student athletes are organizing as employees. Will this change of status mandate much needed workers' compensation insurance coverage? Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from www.theatlantic.com

Objectors to the NLRB's ruling that student-athletes can unionize are glossing over the fact that student-athletes meet all the criteria to be considered employees of their schools.
Are college athletes university employees? It’s a question that has gripped the sports world since January, when a group of Northwestern University football players petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to form a union. The debate has only intensified since March 26, when a regional director in Chicago surprised many by granting the players’ petition.
The backbone of regional director Peter Sung Ohr’s 24-page ruling that the players are employees and thus have the right to form a union was the exhaustive description of the responsibilities and time-consuming demands of Northwestern football players. The judge said the evidence put forth by the team members, led by former quarterback Kain Colter and the College Athletes Players Association, showed that football “student-athletes” at Northwestern spend 40 to 50 hours a week on football-related activities for the duration of the regular season and bowl season, and have a virtual year-round commitment to the program. Thus, they are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, Ohr concluded.
“In its detailed presentation of the life of a Northwestern football player and in its analysis of the applicable law, Ohr's opinion clearly anticipates the appeal,” said ESPN’s Lester Munson....
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