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NLRB Fumble Update – The Board Allows Election to Proceed, but Agrees To Review Northwestern University “Employee” Case

April 24, 2014

By Michael G. McClory

As you will recall, on March 26, 2014 Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago issued a digressive decision in which it concluded that scholarship students playing on the Northwestern University football team are employees within the definition of the National Labor Relations Act. Because the Regional Director also ordered an immediate election, the NLRB set the election for April 25, 2014. On April 9, 2014 Northwestern University filed an appeal to the NLRB’s ruling. (See the Bullard Alert article on the Regional Director’s holding.  Also, see The Bullard Edge post on the appeal.)

Earlier today, the NLRB granted Northwestern University’s request for review. The one paragraph order provides:

"Northwestern University’s Request for Review of the Regional Director’s Decision and Direction of Election is granted as it raises substantial issues warranting review. The Board intends to issue a subsequent notice establishing a schedule for the filing of briefs on review and inviting amicus briefs, to afford the parties and interested amici the opportunity to address issues raised in this case. That notice will supersede the otherwise applicable provisions of Section 102.67(g) of the Board’s Rules and Regulations regarding the deadline for filing briefs."

In a press release announcing the order, the NLRB stated that the election will proceed tomorrow as scheduled. “The election will take place on April 25, 2014 but the ballots will be impounded until the Board issues a decision affirming, modifying or reversing the Regional Director’s decision.”

The Bullard Edge will continue to follow developments in this matter.