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Student Athletes at Colleges and Universities Are Employees, NLRB Says

September 30th, 2021
college athletes

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memorandum to field officers throughout the country outlining her position that students who play sports for colleges and universities are really employees of academic institutions under the National Labor Relations Act, and thus are provided with legal protections offered to employees.

Abruzzo explained in the letter that she holds the term student-athlete as a misclassification that leads students who are on sports teams at higher learning institutions to believe they are not protected under the National Labor Relations Act.

The general counsel said that because certain college-level players are being compensated for their efforts on behalf of the school team, they are statutory employees. As employees, she wrote, they have the right to act collectively – or bargain for terms of employment together. This memo, she added, was released to educate the public, specifically students and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and athletic conferences, about the position the NLRB would be taking employee status and misclassification for such cases.

The NLRB announcement comes after a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of NCAA vs Alston, which recognized college and university athletics as a profit-making business.

Contact the Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. today for a free consultation and assessment of your claim. Do not hesitate to call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.

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