National Labor Relations Board Rules in Favor of Patterson Harkavy’s Client, Affirms Right of Elon Adjunct Faculty to Form a Union

On February 19, 2021, the National Labor Relations Board issued a unanimous decision affirming the right of Elon adjunct faculty to form a union and collectively bargain with the University.

This win came nearly two years after Elon’s adjunct faculty voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining the Southern Regional Joint Board of Workers United, a local affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. Elon’s administration aggressively opposed the unionization effort from the outset, and brought legal claims challenging whether its adjunct faculty had the right to form a union under federal labor law. The answer, held by the National Labor Relations Board, was a resounding yes. Last week, Elon’s administration finally agreed to recognize the faculty union and negotiate a collective bargaining agreement in good faith.

Patterson Harkavy attorneys Narendra Ghosh and Trisha Pande represented the union at all stages in the NLRB proceedings. The Elon adjunct faculty union is the second faculty union at a private university in the South. The first was formed at Duke University, where the union was also represented by Patterson Harkavy.