Philadelphia Employment Law News

NHL Player Lockout Goes to Federal Court

Sorry, Flyers fans. You won't be able to catch any hockey games in the near future. The National Hockey League is in the middle of a labor dispute in Manhattan federal court.

The NHL players' union is being sued by the League and all of its teams, possibly putting a damper on the whole season as the teams might not resume playing anytime soon.

The owners are locked out this time, and the players are voting on whether to give up their collective bargaining rights.

To break this down, the NHL and the owners of its teams are facing off against the players and their union.

In short, the NHLPA board got together to vote on whether the union should dissolve. They also discussed the idea of filing an antitrust lawsuit, which in short is a no-monopoly lawsuit.

The monopoly? That the team owners all got together and placed certain restrictions on the players, through salary caps, free agency restrictions, rookie pay and other employment-related issues.

The NHL retaliated and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is the first stop in a labor (a.k.a. union) dispute.

The NHL is alleging that the union is improperly using the threat of antitrust litigation to negotiate more favorable terms and conditions of employment, according to the NLRB complaint.

The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is an agreement that is drawn up by the union. The union represents the players, and the CBA is an agreement that has the players on one end and the team owners and the NHL management on the other.

So, to bring this all down to the basics, the NHL and the team owners are saying that the union isn't playing fair and is using unfair tactics to get a better deal in their CBA.

The owners have locked out the players and the impasse is only getting worse. Unless a holiday miracle occurs, it appears the entire hockey season may be on ice.

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