Archives: Collective Bargaining

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The Browns Employ Creative Use of NFL Salary Cap Structure For Future Success

In a league well known for the copycat tendencies among its franchises, the Cleveland Browns may have set a new National Football League (NFL) standard for evaluating and completing trades. After flirting with a 0-16 season in 2016, the Browns entered the offseason with a record $100+ million in cap space. The NFL’s mandatory salary floor requirement would … Continue Reading

NFL Owners, Commissioner Consider Question of NFL Conduct Policies Regulating Non-Football Offenses Once Again

New York Jets player Darrelle Revis is entering the third year of his approximately $70 million five-year contract with the team. He is slated to receive a $13 million base salary ($6 million fully guaranteed) and a $2 million roster bonus this season, but only if he remains on the Jets roster. Unfortunately, the cornerback … Continue Reading

NFL Commissioner’s Powers Affirmed in Eighth Circuit Ruling on Peterson Suspension

NFL-appointed Arbitrator Harold Henderson’s decision to uphold Commissioner Roger Goodell’s suspension of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for alleged child abuse was proper, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled. NFL Players Association v. National Football League et al., No. 15-1438 (8th Cir. Aug. 4, 2016). The decision marks a … Continue Reading

NFL and Players Union Agree to New Game Day Concussion Protocol Enforcement Policy

In the latest efforts to improve player safety, the NFL and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) have announced an agreement to implement specific penalties for violations of the league’s game-day concussion protocol. The agreement calls for greater mandates on player protection and higher penalties for non-compliance. Player concussions in the NFL increased by an … Continue Reading

Minor League Players Strike Out in Effort to Bring Antitrust Class Action against Major League Baseball

A California federal judge has dismissed a putative class action alleging Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig violated federal antitrust law by conspiring to restrict the salaries of minor league players. Miranda et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball et al., No. 14-cv-05349 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 14, 2015). The plaintiffs accused all … Continue Reading

Let the NFL Season Begin: Judge Overturns Arbitration Award Suspending Tom Brady

Tom Brady will begin the 2015 NFL season as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots for the 14th consecutive season following U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman’s grant of the National Football League Players Association’s motion to vacate NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s July 28, 2015, arbitration award imposing a four-game suspension on Brady. … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Decision Roadblocks Union Effort – What’s Next for Student-Athletes?

After holding the potential “employee” status of Northwestern University’s grant-in-aid scholarship football players in abeyance for 16 months, the National Labor Relations Board’s decision not to assert jurisdiction left the parties still waiting for a “real” decision from the Board on the merits of whether college football players may someday be considered “employees” who can … Continue Reading

NLRB Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction Over Student-Athletes’ Attempt to Unionize – For Now

Concluding that its assertion of jurisdiction “would not serve to promote stability in labor relations,” the National Labor Relations Board has declined to exercise authority over the College Athletes Players Association’s (CAPA’s) petition to represent scholarship football players at Northwestern University. Northwestern University, 362 NLRB No. 167 (Aug. 17, 2015). Without deciding if the players … Continue Reading

NLRB Declines Jurisdiction In Northwestern Case

The National Labor Relations Board has declined to assert jurisdiction in the case involving Northwestern University football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships. As a result, the Board did not determine if the players were employees under the National Labor Relations Act.  Instead, the Board exercised its discretion not to assert jurisdiction and dismissed the representation petition … Continue Reading

NFL vs. Brady: NFL Wins Initial Venue Battle

Round One of Deflategate has concluded…it’s now time for Round Two. The initial battle over judicial forums between the National Football League and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) to find the most favorable venue to support their legal position has ended with U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle ordering the NFLPA’s Petition To … Continue Reading

Uniform Law Commission Approves Changes to Uniform Athlete Agents Act

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) has approved significant changes to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAA) at its recent annual meeting. The UAA, first adopted in 2000, has been enacted in 40 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Laws similar to the UAA have been enacted by several … Continue Reading

Major League Baseball Players Association Amends Agent Regulations To Require Written Exams For Applicants

For the first time since October 1, 2010, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) has enacted a series of amendments to its regulations governing player agents. Approved during the MLBPA’s recent annual Executive Board meeting in Orlando, the amendments address the union’s ongoing effort to improve the quality and knowledge of agent applicants. Each … Continue Reading

UPDATE-Michigan Excludes Student-Athletes from Unions

Michigan has become the first state to exclude intercollegiate student-athletes at its public universities from the definition of a “public employee,” and therefore, the right to bargain collectively through a union. An amendment to Michigan’s Public Employee Relations Act signed by Governor Rick Snyder excludes from the definition of “public employee” : (1) “a student … Continue Reading

Michigan Bill Would Bar Student-Athlete Unionization

With a National Labor Relations Board decision on whether football players at Northwestern may proceed with their unionization efforts looming, Michigan is considering a bill that would prevent student-athletes from similarly attempting to unionize. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Al Pscholka, would prevent student-athletes at Michigan’s public universities from exercising collective bargaining rights based on … Continue Reading

NFL and NFLPA Finalize Amended Substance Abuse Policies

After years of intensely contentious negotiations, the NFL and NFL Players Association have reached an agreement on the league’s performance enhancing substance policy and substance abuse policy. Both policies were unanimously approved by the 32 NFL player representatives weeks ago, but were held up by final negotiations. The NFL and the NFLPA have been attempting … Continue Reading

Ray Rice Saga: Not Just About The Punishment Fitting the Crime

The disturbing domestic violence incident involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his wife may raise issues for professional football’s labor relations as well as Rice’s future career as a player. Rice was seen in a hotel video dragging his wife out of an elevator.  National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell investigated and … Continue Reading

Indiana University May Start Trend with ‘Student-Athlete Bill of Rights’

Indiana University (IU) has created the first prominent “Student-Athlete Bill of Rights,” which formally identifies rights guaranteed by IU to its student-athletes during their time at the university and beyond. Indiana University’s Bill of Rights addresses concerns held by current student-athletes and encourages prospective student-athletes to attend IU by expanding its commitment in numerous phases of … Continue Reading

NLRB Grants Review in Northwestern Case; Election to Be Held and Ballots Impounded

As expected, the National Labor Relations Board has granted Northwestern University’s Request for Review of the Regional Director’s March 26, 2014 decision finding the scholarship football players at the University to be “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act “as it raises substantial issues meriting review.” While, the election will take place … Continue Reading

Major League Baseball And Its Players Association Reach Agreement On Amended Drug Accord

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have negotiated changes to its current Joint Drug Treatment and Prevention Program to create the most stringent drug program in baseball history. In an effort to eradicate performance enhancing drugs from the game, the revised drug protocol contains a significant increase in penalties for violations … Continue Reading

Northwestern Scholarship Football Players Found To Be Employees Eligible for Union Representation

Peter Sung Ohr, the Regional Director for Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board issued a Decision and Direction of Election pertaining to the effort of the Northwestern University football players to unionize. The Regional Director found that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading

College Athletes: Students or Employees?

In an unprecedented legal step, the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) has filed a petition with the Chicago-based regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Region 13, seeking to organize the 85 football players receiving athletic scholarships at Northwestern University for purposes of representing them in collective bargaining. Backed by the United Steelworkers … Continue Reading

MLB:First Major Sport To Add In-Season HGH Testing

Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced an unprecedented addition to its current drug testing program in an effort to eliminate player use of human growth hormone (HGH). Beginning with the  2013 season, MLB will conduct random, unannounced, in-season blood testing for HGH. All players will be tested at least once during the season. This marks … Continue Reading

THE NHL: TIME TO RETURN TO THE ICE?

The National Hockey League (NHL) season did not start as scheduled on October 11, 2012, because of ongoing labor contract negotiations and the league’s decision to lockout its players.  The NHL rekindled hope for a 2012-2013 season when it made an unexpected counter-proposal to the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and its players. The League’s latest proposal … Continue Reading
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