This is the beginning of a series on the implications of today’s National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) decision that Northwestern’s football players, “are employees of the school and therefore entitled to hold an election to decide whether to unionize,” according to The Chicago Tribune.
We’re going to start by focusing on the definition of employee.
The first question is what the NLRB means by “employee.” Well, the National Labor Relations Act defines employee with a long paragraph that starts out pretty broadly with, “The term ’employee’ shall include any employee… unless this subchapter explicitly states otherwise…” 29 U.S.C. 152(3). The definition goes on to carve out exceptions for agricultural workers, individuals covered by the Railway Labor Act, and some other exceptions.