In a groundbreaking decision on February 5, the Regional Director for Region 01 of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the men’s basketball student-athletes for Dartmouth College are to be considered employees under the purview of the National Labor Relations Act. Constangy attorneys Chis Deubert and Dean Kpere-Daibo presented a webinar featuring Director of Athletics at Saint Joseph’s University, Jill Bodensteiner, and Director of Athletics at Liberty University, Ian McCaw, on March 6.

This webinar examined the legal basis behind the Dartmouth College student-athlete labor decision, the potential ripple effects on other collegiate sports programs and institutions, the prospect of student-athletes being considered employees under other laws, implications of unionization for student-athletes and universities, and strategies for universities to navigate potential legal challenges and adapting to changing labor dynamics in collegiate athletics.

Chris is an attorney with more than thirteen years of experience at law firms, in-house, and in academia, with extensive expertise in sports, litigation, and labor and employment. He represents and advises employers with respect to a variety of labor and employment matters, including discrimination complaints, wage and hour claims, class actions, employment agreements, restrictive covenants, data privacy, trade secrets, employee handbooks and policies, internal investigations, and more. Chris also advises and represents a variety of parties in the sports industry, including teams, associations/tours, and agents/agencies, as well as universities and related parties in NCAA and other regulatory matters.

Dean represents the interest of management in all areas of labor and employment law. Dean is responsible for representing management interests in state and federal court and before state, local, and federal administrative agencies. For nearly a decade, Dean has devoted his practice to representing employers in traditional labor matters, including providing labor guidance, defending unfair labor practice charges in front of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), and defending alleged violations of collective bargaining agreements. Dean also has extensive experience providing supervisor training and representing employers in representation proceedings before the NLRB.

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