NLRB Judge Finds That College Football Players Are Employees Of Their University

Today, an administrative judge at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that student athletes on Northwestern University’s football team who receive a scholarship are employees of the university and therefore eligible to form a union.  The decision, while not the decision of the full NLRB, is a major departure from NLRB precedent and one very fraught with consequences for universities and other employers in educational fields. Continue reading

President Obama Directs DOL To Overhaul Federal Overtime Regulations

Ordinarily, changes to federal overtime regulations get very little notice in California since our State’s overtime laws are far more protective of employees than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  But President Obama’s proposed changes to FLSA regulations, announced on March 13, 2014, are causing shockwaves to be felt even in California. When the FLSA regulations are modified, California employers are going to have to reconsider whether salaried employees meet the new requirements. Continue reading

Empowering the Bystander: Workplace Harassment and Bullying – Lessons from Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin

After reading the Ted Wells investigation report of the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin matter, I had several reactions.  Most focused on Incognito’s reprehensible and vile bullying of Martin, primarily aided by his two teammates, Mike Pouncey and John Jerry.  After reflecting on the workplace environment that allowed such repeated atrocious conduct to occur, I wondered where were the other players when this was taking place.  There must have been “high character” players who heard the conduct and appreciated that it went far over the line of what would be tolerable teasing in the name of bonding.  Yet the Wells report does not identify teammates taking affirmative steps to stop the offensive behavior.  Some players interviewed were evidently wanting Martin to take action to defend himself.  However, for a complex set of reasons, Martin did not do so. Continue reading