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Will Kishman Discusses Northwestern Univeristy Union NLRB Decision in Business First of Louisville

04.02.2014

BGD attorney William Kishman was featured recently in the Business First of Louisville article entitled, “Could Northwestern University’s football team tackle your business?” Kishman discussed the decision made by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that has many people pondering the future of organized sports and unions in general.

The NLRB’s decision will tentatively allow a group of Northwestern University football players to form a labor union. This means that they would be recognized as employees of the university. As good as this may sound for the College Athletes Players Association, this decision still has to go through the courts to be finalized.

Kishman said, “Federal courts grant a lot of deference to the NLRB in these types of areas. Therefore it is likely that the ruling will hold up, and that could completely change college sports.”

As “March Madness” comes to a close, many are wondering what madness this decision could bring to college sports and what effect the decision will have on public schools.

“Athletes at public schools right now don’t fall under the NLRB’s jurisdiction. They won’t, at least immediately, receive the same protections as the Northwestern football players appear to be getting here,” said Kishman.

Business wise, the NLRB decision could give unions more leverage to push their way into non-union work forces. Football players are seen as such an unconventional group to apply the union philosophy, and it could open doors for other groups that do not historically have union representation. This new movement could ultimately help worker obtain pay increases and more benefits.

The decision is something business owners are carefully watching to see how it may affect employment in the future. In sport terms, this could mean a whole new ballgame.

For now, both sports fans and the business world will have to watch and see how this decision will play out in court.

To read the full article, please visit the Business First of Louisville website here.

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