In a closely-watched decision, a Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board ruled on March 26, 2014 that football players receiving scholarships at Northwestern University are “employees” and eligible to unionize. This landmark decision marks a potential change in Board law that could possibly alter the landscape of union organizing; at least regarding private colleges and universities. Higher Education institutions should be proactive and at least begin thinking about the many and varied issues presented by the Northwestern case as it percolates through the NLRB and court system.

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Photo of Justin Keith Justin Keith

Justin F. Keith represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law—including reductions in force, litigation of discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, and retaliation claims, and numerous other personnel and workplace issues—before state and federal agencies and in courts throughout the country.

Justin Co-Chairs

Justin F. Keith represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law—including reductions in force, litigation of discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, and retaliation claims, and numerous other personnel and workplace issues—before state and federal agencies and in courts throughout the country.

Justin Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Labor-Management Relations group and advises clients in all areas of traditional labor law, including union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, unfair labor practice charges and representation case proceedings before the NLRB, union avoidance strategy and training, strike response and contingency planning, grievance arbitration proceedings, and appellate litigation before the NLRB and the Courts of Appeals. Justin was co-counsel to New Process Steel in the landmark Supreme Court case, New Process Steel v. NLRB, 560 U.S. 674 (2010). He is also a contributing editor of The Developing Labor Law, the leading treatise on U.S. labor law, and a frequent speaker to legal and industry groups on labor and employment issues.

Justin has litigated dozens of wage and hour class actions brought under the Massachusetts Wage Act and nationwide collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He represents employers across a broad spectrum of industries, including retail, transportation, delivery services, and telecom services in nationwide class and collective actions brought throughout the country.

Justin regularly provides counsel to senior management and human resource personnel on employment law compliance matters, such as reductions in force, leaves of absence, exempt status classification under the FLSA and state law, employee discipline, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and restrictive covenant agreements.

Photo of Paul J. Murphy Paul J. Murphy

Paul J. Murphy has broad experience in virtually all forms of business litigation, representing clients across a wide range of industries, including higher education, public and private construction, and health care. A seasoned trial attorney, Paul has tried numerous jury and jury-waived cases

Paul J. Murphy has broad experience in virtually all forms of business litigation, representing clients across a wide range of industries, including higher education, public and private construction, and health care. A seasoned trial attorney, Paul has tried numerous jury and jury-waived cases and has orally argued before a broad spectrum of state and federal trial and appellate courts. He also appears frequently in adversary proceedings before various state and federal agencies and tribunals, including the American Arbitration Association.