Employers implement employee training programs for a variety of reasons, such as furthering professional development and improving poor performance, ensuring compliance with information security protocols and competence using company systems and reducing legal exposure by ensuring that employees receive formal instruction on equal employment, discrimination and harassment policies. And just as a rigorous practice schedule can ensure that a team brings its “A” game to the NCAA tournament, companies that invest the time and resources to train their employees properly stand a greater chance of avoiding many of the problems that often result from a poorly trained workforce, such as excessive turnover, decreased morale and costly discrimination and harassment lawsuits.
As of this writing, it has been over 850 days since the UConn women’s basketball team has lost a game. When the Huskies last tasted defeat (in an overtime thriller to Stanford on November 17, 2014), football players at Northwestern University were pursuing their rights to collectively bargain after a ruling by the NLRB regional director in Chicago held they were statutory employees. While the undefeated nature of women’s basketball in Storrs, CT has been a constant, the NLRB changed the game for Northwestern football players by declining to assert jurisdiction. However, there remains a feeling in certain quarters of college sports that some form of pay to student-athletes is inevitable.
This time of year usually marks the sports netherworld between the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which is better known as March Madness. This lull provides employers with an excellent opportunity to contemplate the issues that March Madness creates in their workplace. We explore some of those issues below.
Continue Reading Does March Madness = Workplace Madness? Some Thoughts on the Legality of NCAA Bracket Pools, the Tournament’s Effect on the Workplace, and of course, a Rendition of One Shining Moment (UPDATED)
It’s our favorite time of year over at Employment Matters – March Madness! Let’s quickly recap where we’ve been.
My colleague Tyrone Thomas was quoted in The New York Times article entitled, In 11 Missing Words, Some See Shift in NCAA Case Against UNC, in which he addresses the potential impact of the NCAA allegations against the University of North Carolina (UNC) for its alleged lack of institutional control pertaining to the supervision of the academic program for student athletes. The article describes the overall implications of the NCAA’s amended notice of allegations to UNC for its role in a scheme of paper classes that disproportionately favored athletes.
This is the second installment of a series regarding legal issues affecting college athletics that will run during this year’s NCAA basketball tournament.
It is no secret that the salaries of coaches of high profile college programs are rising steadily. In a recent report listing the highest paid public employee for each of the fifty states, 40 were college coaches. While Alabama football coach Nick Saban led that list with annual compensation of around $7 million, the Chronicle of Higher Education also reported the Crimson Tide were just 1 of 10 athletic programs in 2014 to give more money back to its campus than it received in subsidies. As a famous comic book hero once said – “with great power, comes great responsibility.” It is therefore important to examine the legal concerns affecting coaching pay, which based on recent events, will increasingly include responsibility for conduct detrimental to athletic programs.
Not only is it “March Madness” time, it is also prime tax return filing time. That means that the email scammers are out in full force as well.
In the last 10 days, we have seen a marked uptick in what are called “phishing” attacks. Actually, it’s more like an epidemic.
My colleague Mitch Danzig, was quoted in a SHRM article entitled, Keep Employees on the Ball During March Madness, in which he provides strategies for employers to avoid legal claims when monitoring employees’ computer use. The article outlines ways employers can both manage “cyberslacking” and boost morale in the workplace during March Madness.
This is the first installment of a series regarding legal issues affecting college athletics that this blog will run during this year’s NCAA basketball tournament.
Two horrible March Madness brackets ago, we analyzed the myriad of legal and operational challenges that could change the face of intercollegiate athletics. The smoke has begun to clear on one critical issue – student-athletes have not been granted standing to assert rights as employees. Interestingly, the recent decisions involving the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on this issue have come at a time of expanding rights for student-athletes.
My colleague Tyrone Thomas, was quoted in the Law360 article entitled College Player Compensation Issue Rages on Despite Reforms in which he analyzes the impact of education-based reforms made by several NCAA conferences may have on existing legal matters that are challenging the amateurism model of college athletics. The article examines the precedent set by the O’Bannon v. NCAA ruling in 2015 and outlines other legal efforts to compensate student-athletes.