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NBA Players Association Alleges Unfair Labor Practices

Publication Date: 
May 24, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Lance Pugmire

Professor William Gould is quoted by Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times on claims the NBA has violated three sections of the National Labor Relations Act, and what this could mean for NBA Players.

NBA players on Tuesday filed an unfair labor practices charge against the league with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging "harsh, inflexible and grossly regressive 'takeaway' demands."

The National Basketball Players Assn. said it's seeking an immediate investigation by the NLRB, plus an injunction to stop the league's threatened lockout of players when the current collective-bargaining agreement expires June 30.

The union claims the NBA has violated three sections of the National Labor Relations Act in the months preceding Tuesday's filing.

"If some of these allegations are true, the totality of the conduct can be deemed bad faith," said Bill Gould, a former NLRB chairman and current Stanford law professor. "This is a shot across the bow" by NBA players.


The NBA case is different, Gould said, because the NLRB's general counsel will immediately work to explore the players' charge, and if a violation is believed to have occurred, the general counsel can issue a complaint to the four-person board.

The board can then vote to move the case to a U.S. court "in a matter of weeks, before the expiration of this agreement," said Gould.