Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP
Free Consultations 626-381-9261

Appeals court finds student athletes not employees under FLSA

As the NCAA prepares to crown a champion for Division I football, and men’s and women’s basketball teams begin conference play, collegiate sports takes center stage this week. Lost in all the hoopla is the vast disparity between what college coaches, universities and conference make in revenues compared to what the players make.

NCAA bylaws prohibit for student athletes from receiving monetary compensation for their efforts as athletes as long as they maintain “amateur” status; meaning that they may not receive money for nearly any form of “work” performed while they are college athletes. 

In spite of this, a few students from the University of Pennsylvania sued the NCAA in federal court alleging that the NCAA violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to compensate student athletes a minimum wage. They claimed that given the massive controls NCAA members had over students’ lives, they should be considered employees analogous to students who participated in work study programs.

However, an Indiana trial court disagreed, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed; claiming that according to the “economic reality” test, the students were not employees for FLSA purposes. It further reasoned that amateurism was a “long standing tradition” of college athletics and was the essential “to the very existence of” collegiate sports.

Further, the court found that the Department of Labor’s Field Operations Handbook specifically stated that student athletes were not employees under the FLSA. Nevertheless, there are many college students (who are not athletes) that may experience wage and hour problems. In these instances, an experienced employment law attorney can help. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • Top Listed In Best Lawyers | The World's Premier Guide
    • Americas Top 100 2017 | Criminal Defense Attorneys
    • AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings
    • Super Lawyers | Rising Stars 2018
    • Best Lawyers US News 2016
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 40 Under 40
    • proud fellow of american bar foundation
    • 2018 Top 100 Lawyer ASLA
    • SuperLawyers Rising Stars 2018

Have You Been Victimized?

Speak to an attorney who will fight for you.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Pasadena Office
128 N. Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 204
Pasadena, CA 91103

Phone: 626-585-9600
Fax: 626-577-7079
Map & Directions

Downtown Los Angeles Office (Legal Fund)
250 1st Street, Suite 1201
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: 213-785-6999
Map & Directions

Free Consultations

Tel: 626-381-9261
Toll-free: 866-457-2590