Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Took So Long? NLRB Rules Teaching Assistants Covered By NLRA, May Organize

In a decision anticipated by both labor and management since the start of the Obama administration in 2009, the NLRB announced today that private university teaching assistants are "employees" as defined in the National Labor Relations Act, and therefore may organize.  The Board's 3-1 ruling reverses a 2004 NLRB decision in Brown Univ. which held that teaching assistants were not "employees" under the NLRB, which itself reversed a decision in New York Univ. holding that teaching assistants were employees under the NLRA.

This line of cases is a prime example of the lack of stability in Board precedent on key issues, with the law changing back and forth based on which party controls the White House, which benefits neither labor nor management.

Expect another court challenge, but that will likely fail.

--Jonathan Nadler

--Jon Nadler, Eckert Seamans, Philadelphia

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