Cornell University

Labor and Employment Law Program

16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor, 212-340-2866

National Labor Relations Board

May 2, 2014

National Labor Relations Board

Northwestern University and CAPA: The NLRB and College Football

The scholarship football players at Northwestern University will have voted on whether they want CAPA to represent them. The NLRB has granted Northwestern's request to review Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr's decision finding scholarship football players to be employees within the meaning of the NLRA. What will the Board's ultimate decision mean for the viability of the Brown, Boston Medical Center, and Specialty Healthcare decisions? This case has set off a national debate about the status of student athletes and how finding these athletes to be employees with the right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining would affect them, college sports and the NCAA, Title IX, and higher education.

On Friday, May 2, 2014, we discussed the legal issues the Board will confront, with:

  • Jeremiah A. Collins, Esq., Bredhoff & Kaiser PLLC, Attorney for the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) at Northwestern
  • Lawrence C. DiNardo, Esq., Partner and Labor and Employment Law Practice Leader, Jones Day, and Counsel for prospective Amicus Curiae for the Association for the Protection of Collegiate Athletes (APCA) 
  • James G. Paulsen, Esq., Regional Director, NLRB Region 29

Program Materials:

Supplemental Materials:

  • Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), Brief to the Regional Director on Behalf of Northwestern University. No. 13-RC-121359 (March 17, 2014). http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RC-121359
  • Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), Northwestern's Request for Review of Regional Director's Decision and Direction of Election. No. 13-RC-121359 (April 9, 2014). http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RC-121359
  • Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), Petitioner's Response to Request for Review of Regional Director's Decision and Direction of Election. No. 13-RC-121359 (April 16, 2014). http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RC-121359
  • Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), Post-Hearing Brief of Petitioner College Athletes Players Association. No. 13-RC-121359 (March 17, 2014). http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RC-121359