NLRB Investigating MLL

Photo Courtesy of Joshua Kelly

The National Labor Relations Board is investigating the MLL due to an illegal clause in player contracts. Terry Foy of Inside Lacrosse first reported the story Wednesday morning.

Rich Furlong, who helped with the CLA negotiations with the NLPTA over the summer, has issued the unfair labor charge on behalf four players. The Atlanta Blaze’s Jermey Nobel, Jason Nobel, Graeme Hosack, and the Denver Outlaw’s Dillon Ward.

The unfair labor charge is centered around a confidentiality clause in players contracts that prohibits them from discussing various elements of their contracts such as compensation, benefits, and more. Furlong filed the unfair labor charge on behalf of those four players (mentioned above) back in early November.

In the Inside Lacrosse article Furlong is quoted as saying “The MLL has a standard player agreement that has a confidentiality clause in it, found in Section 13.5, that in substance prevents employees from speaking to other employees about terms and conditions of employment. These types of provisions are wholly illegal. There’s absolutely no question they’re illegal under the National Labor Relations Act.”

Furlong and the players position is that the players contracts need to be nullified and thus they should should be able to sit down and negotiate contracts without this illegal clause. If the NLRB rules in the players favor then it would effect every player who is currently under contract or in contract negotiations with a MLL franchise. 

These kinds of investigations usually take 30-60 days before a NLRB regional office would make a decision to move forward with the case. In this case the Denver regional office is the one involved. The MLL could then settle with the NLRB or with Furlong and the players. If it goes to that the whole process could take about two months.