7th Circuit Court Denies College Athletes Status as Employees

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court’s ruling that denied employee status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to student athletes at the University of Pennsylvania, who had filed suit to establish an employer-employee relationship.

In so ruling, the appellate court endorsed the U.S. Supreme Court’s statement in NCAA v. Board of Regents, 468 U.S. 85 (1985) that there exists “a revered tradition of amateurism in college sports.”

The case in question is Gillian Berger, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al. In addition to relying on the Supreme Court’s 1985 ruling, the circuit court also said the athletes lacked legal standing to sue the NCAA.

In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which enforces employee-employer relationships, also denied an action by student-athletes at Northwestern University seeking employee status.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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