Saturday, October 14, 2017
NFL in the News
The NFL is once again providing great fodder for labor/employment exam questions.
Over at Indisputably, Sarah Cole has a great post about the Fifth Circuit's rejection of a preliminary injunction by the NFL Players' association that would have prevented the suspension of Cowboy running back Zeke Elliott. As Sarah points out, the arbitration clause that the NFL and the Players' Association agreed to is bizarre, but the Players' Association must follow the procedure it agreed to before challenging the outcome in court.
In other news, an unfair labor practice charge has been filed against the Cowboys (and owner Jerry Jones) for threatening to bench players who kneel during the national anthem to protest race discrimination and violence. As Ben Sachs points out over at onlabor, this is a possible ULP for interfering with the players' protected concerted activity under the NLRA. In a separate onlabor post, Noah Zatz makes a convincing case that any benching would violate the opposition clause of Title VII's anti-retaliation provision.
With respect to Ben, I disagree that there's a good case for Section 7 protection. The best argument for NLRA coverage is that they're opposing Trump's call to fire players who take knee. But that seems to be exactly what the players are NOT arguing. Instead, they have continued to stress the original protest' focus on societal problems, such as police shootings. Such concerns, while obviously important, do not have a nexus to the players terms and conditions of employment, as required by the NLRB's interpretations of Section 7. So, I have a very hard time believing the Board, much less an appellate court, would find these protests covered. And I have yet to see anyone cite a case that stretches the coverage of Section 7 that far, particularly a recent one.
Posted by: Jeff Hirsch | Oct 15, 2017 7:29:05 AM