Orchestrating an Exclusion of Professional Workers from the NLRA: Has the Supreme Court Endangered Symphony Orchestra Musicians’ Collective Bargaining Rights?

The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) represents the musicians in Americas major orchestras. Unionized orchestral musicians are highly trained, artistic professionals. In recent years, the United States Supreme Court has classified many professional workers as managers or supervisors. In so doing, the Court has diminished professional workers right to unionize because managers and supervisors are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). One interpretation of this jurisprudence is that collective bargaining agreements currently covering certain orchestral musicians actually violate the NLRA. By endangering orchestral musicians collective bargaining rights, the Court may inadvertently have placed American orchestras in jeopardy.

Author: Molly Eastman
Associate in the Labor and Employment practice group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
Copyright © Washington University Journal of Law& Policy
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