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Statement by ACE Vice President and General Counsel Peter McDonough on NLRB’s Columbia University Ruling

August 23, 2016


“We are greatly disappointed that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has overturned decades of legal precedent and academic practice with a ruling that represents a sweeping expansion of federal authority. This misguided decision turns all students into potential employees who could be organized, even undergraduate students in federal work-study positions. Such a development would decrease opportunities for campus jobs that help students, particularly those from low- and middle-income families, finance their education and drive up administrative costs. 

In an era where so many are worried about the costs of college, this is a big step in the wrong direction. We strongly disagree with this decision and continue to believe that students should be treated as students, not employees, until Congress says otherwise. Given the current makeup of the Board, we were prepared for a decision against Columbia University (NY). However, it is surprising and disturbing that the Board has sanctioned such an unprecedented federal intrusion.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪

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