Monday, March 14, 2011

Understanding the legal issues of the NFL labor problems

New nfl logo-1-_938 At 11:59 p.m. Friday night, the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA expired, and the owners locked out its players. We’ve all heard about lockouts before, but what does all this mean? Gabriel Feldman, at the Huffington Post, provides the answer for those unaccustomed to the ins and outs of federal labor law:

A lockout is the “withholding of employment by an employer from its employees for the purpose of either resisting their demands or gaining a concession from them.” In other words, a lockout is when an employer refuses to let workers work, and therefore get paid, as a form of leverage. A lockout is prohibited if it is motivated primarily as an attempt to discourage union membership or interfere with employees’ organizational rights. Lockouts can occur before or after a bargaining impasse has been reached.

Mr. Feldman offers answers to 25 other labor law questions necessary to understand the NFL’s labor strife, including:

  • What is decertification?
  • What is the process for decertification?
  • Why do the players have to break up their union to bring an antitrust suit?
  • And, would the NFL owners be permitted to lock out Brett Favre, and only Brett Favre?

The article is mandatory reading for anyone looking to understand the basics of the complex issues behind the NFL’s ongoing and evolving labor woes.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or

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