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NLRB Directs Election at Northwestern – Scholarship Football Players are Employees

Gerald Lutkus

Gerald F. Lutkus

Of Counsel (Retired)

The Region 13 Director of the NLRB  directed today that an election be held at Northwestern University to determine if the  scholarship athletes that play football at the University wish to be represented by a Union. In coming to that decision, Regional Director concluded that the scholarships athletes receive compensation from the university for the performance of athletic services and as such are employees.  The Director’s ruling, a copy of which is available here, also concludes that the athletic duties of grant-n-aid scholarship players do not  constitute a core element of their educational degree requirements and that the university’s academic faculty do not supervise the player’s athletic duties. The Regional Director excluded walk-on players from being included in the proposed bargaining unit because they did not receive compensation for their athletic services. The parties have until April 9, 2014 to file with the Board in Washington, D.C. a Request for Review of the Decision.


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