Back to News

Another NLRB Rule Reversed

Published on

March 16, 2021

The National Labor Relations Board continues to reverse former President Donald Trump-era labor policy and last week rescinded a labor rule applicable to higher education.

Back in September 2019, the board published a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” for a regulation establishing that students at private colleges and universities who perform any services related to their studies for compensation – including teaching and research, are not employees within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act. After more than 13,000 public comments – the Trump board rule was nearing finalization. However, last week President Joe Biden’s board issued a statement saying it is withdrawing the proposed rule that would have blocked student teaching assistants from forming unions.

The board stated in its news release it is pulling the rule “to focus its limited resources on competing agency priorities, including the adjudication of unfair labor practice and representation cases currently in progress.” Newly appointed by Biden, NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran, said in a tweet Friday that “student employees are workers deserving the full protection of our labor laws.” The Biden board is also signaling movement away from rulemaking, which was increasingly done during the Trump administration, and toward adjudication of decisions.

The board plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register withdrawing the rule this week.

What does this mean for institutions of higher education? Brace yourself for a new wave of union organizing involving your student employees. The board will now rely on its standard on student-employee status as articulated in its 2016 Columbia University decision, finding that student teachers and research assistants are “employees” under the NLRA.

We will be closely monitoring the board as it continues revert back to Obama-era labor policy. If you have any questions about how this latest, or any of the other recent, NLRB Trump reversal affects your business, please contact me or anyone in the Barley Snyder Employment Practice Group

“Tip Credit” Final Rule Delayed
DOL’s Independent Contractor Rule on Life Support

DISCLAIMER: The information in this alert should not be construed as legal advice to be relied upon nor to create an attorney/client relationship. Please note that the reader’s or an industry’s specific situation or circumstances will vary and, thus, for example, an approach that is advisable in one industry may not be appropriate in another industry. If you have questions about your situation or about how to apply information contained in this alert to your situation or industry, you should reach out to an attorney.

The views expressed in this alert are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm or the firm’s clients. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly challenging, evolving and, in many cases, can be controversial. Any views expressed in this alert are not intended to advocate for or endorse a particular governmental response to the pandemic.

Related News

View More News
News Alert
May 7, 2024

DOL Publishes Final Rule Redefining Investment Advice Fiduciary

Last week, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a fi...

Learn More
News Alert
April 30, 2024

EEOC’s New Harassment Guidance: What Employers Need to Know

On Monday, April 29, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issu...

Learn More
Press Release
April 26, 2024

Barley Snyder Managing Partner Jennifer Craighead Carey named to CPBJ 2024 Power Law List

For Immediate Release Lancaster, Pa. – Barley Snyder is pleased to announ...

Learn More

Get in Touch

Our attorneys, paralegals and staff look forward to hearing from you. Please reach out to let us know how we can help.

Get In Touch
Super Lawyers
Best Law Firms US News
Best Lawyers