The National Labor Relations Board has granted review in two cases that ask whether graduate student assistants seeking to be represented by a union are employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act.
The Board also has invited briefs from interested parties in the cases: New YorkUniversity, Case 2-RC-23481; and Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Case 29-RC-12054. In its invitation, the Board listed four questions to be addressed, including whether the Board should modify or overrule the 2004 decision in Brown University, which held that graduate student assistants are generally not statutory employees. The Brown decision itself overruled the 2000 decision in New York University, which held that the assistants are employees.
Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Members Richard Griffin and Sharon Block ruled in favor of granting review in the cases, while Member Brian Hayes dissented.
Briefs should be no longer than 50 pages and must be filed by July 23 2012.