Northwestern grant-in-aid scholarship football players are "employees"

Paid players are primarily employees, not primarily students.

An NLRB Regional Director has ruled that grant-in-aid scholarship football players at Northwestern University are "employees" and has directed that an NLRB election be held.


The NLRB Regional Director made these basic findings:

  • The players perform services for employer's (University's) benefit.
  • The players receive compensation for these services.
  • The pay is not financial aid.
  • The players are subject to the employer's control.
  • The players are employees under common-law definitions.
  • The players are not primarily students.
  • The players are not temporary employees.

This is the beginning of what is sure to be a long litigation battle.