Labor Relations Board Says Student-Athletes Should Be Classified as Employees

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The National Labor Relations Board asserted this week that the NCAA is breaking the law by refusing to classify student athletes as employees. 

According to Politico, NLRB officials in Los Angeles determined that the NCAA, along with the Pac-12 and University of Southern California are joint employers of athletes. 

NLRB general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo said Thursday that the NCAA's refusal to classify student-athletes as employees is in violation of the their labor rights. 

“This kind of misclassification deprives these players of their statutory right to organize and to join together to improve their working/playing conditions if they wish to do so,” Abruzzo said in a statement. “Our aim is to ensure that these players can fully and freely exercise their rights.”

The NCAA, Pac-12 and USC will have the chance to settle case, which was filed by the NCPA in February. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the NLRB will issue a complaint agains the three entities. 

In a statement, the NCAA disputed the labor agency’s characterization of student athletes.

“Contrary to the claims presented in the NLRB charges, college athletes are not employees of the NCAA, regardless of sport or division,” the governing body said. “The NCAA’s commitment is to student-athletes, and it will continue to vigorously defend any attempts to divide them based on arbitrary standards, as it demeans the hard work and sacrifice of all who participate in college sports.”

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