NNFL asks appeals court for rehearing (uh oh) (1 Viewer)

Kingpin123

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—The NFL wants a federal appeals court to rehear the case involving the suspensions of two Minnesota Vikings players who violated the league’s anti-doping policy.

In a petition filed Wednesday, attorneys for the NFL say last month’s decision by a three-judge panel of the appeals court sets up a situation where players in different states are not treated equally.

Full Story: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_y...ubYF?slug=ap-nflsuspensions&prov=ap&type=lgns



Here we go again. I think by the time the legal dust settles the season will be over. Interesting to keep an eye on it though...
 

JackT.

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I still don't think they will do anything until after the season. Both teams are expected to be division leaders. That wouldn't be right. Wait until after the season.
 

gabe311

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I still don't think they will do anything until after the season. Both teams are expected to be division leaders. That wouldn't be right. Wait until after the season.

They don't care how good the teams are. Remember last year these players were supposed to be suspended for the last 4 games of the season?
 

retthib

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Full Story: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_y...ubYF?slug=ap-nflsuspensions&prov=ap&type=lgns



Here we go again. I think by the time the legal dust settles the season will be over. Interesting to keep an eye on it though...

Im sure the NFL knows that as well. This is probably done to get a jumpstart on the offseason proceedings regarding this case. I mean could the NFL suspend the players in the midst of a playoff game? I think that would be too much bad press and I doubt the NFL would do that. Buy I agree, something to keep an eye on.

Lets just hope WS & CG doesnt have the here we go again attitude and if affects their play on Sunday. I dont think its a coincidence their play has improved once it appeared they would be allowed to play the whole year.
 

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You'd that that at some point the NFL would get over it and move on, and let everyone else move on.
 

JackT.

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They don't care how good the teams are. Remember last year these players were supposed to be suspended for the last 4 games of the season?

I don't mean that. Didn't the commish say the reason he wasn't going ahead with the Saints suspensions was because of the competitive balance?
 

mid-city fan

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You'd that that at some point the NFL would get over it and move on, and let everyone else move on.

This is no longer an issue over StarCaps or a question about the validity of the NFL's absolute liability policy. The players LOST on that issue at the State and Federal level. The only reason they have not already served their suspension is because the Federal Court refused support the argument that Federal labor law trumps state laws in the area of drug policy and testing. This is a HUGE issue for the NFL, because if it stands they will have to tailor their policy to each individual state law where they operate a team and a drug testing policy. In order to have a uniform policy for all teams, the NFL would be forced to lower the testing standards and policies to suit the most employer-hostile policy out there...not something the NFL wants to do, given their stance as having the toughest drug & steroid policy of any professional league.

There is no way they are going to just let this drop and "move on." It's too important an issue. Without a resolution in the NFL's favor the entire drug testing program will have to be made over from scratch, and it will be at the whim of any State government legislature that decides it doesn't like part of the policy.
 

Saint Kamara

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I'm just glad Brett Favre's team is involved as well.

They wouldn't dare screw up Favre's chances would they? :no:

Nah. :mwink:
 

StJacques

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Thanks to the contributions to earlier discussions made by other forum posters here, whose names I cannot recall at present, I have been able to follow links to numerous articles on this subject and get quite a bit of background.

Personally, I am not worried about the NFL appeal. And this is the key phrase from the article quoted:

. . . attorneys for the NFL say last month&#8217;s decision by a three-judge panel of the appeals court sets up a situation where <u>players in different states are not treated equally</u>. . . .

underline emphasis mine

What the NFL is asking the appeals court to do is to permit it (the NFL) to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that will supercede state labor laws where conflicts occur. At issue is the ruling of the federal circuit court with jurisdiction over Minnesota that the drug testing clauses in the current NFL collective bargaining agreement had to be approved by Minnesota state courts when the plaintiffs (the Vikings players) argued that the agreement stripped them of protections under Minnesota law; specifically a state law which prohibits an employer from disciplining a worker who was tested for the first time and only tested once before action was taken on the basis of the test results. Once remanded to Minnesota state court, the outcome was decided on the basis of Minnesota law, which denied the NFL the authority to discipline them outside of procedures established under state law. Their ruling was upheld by the federal court.

The key point in the ruling was this: A collective bargaining agreement negotiated to establish drug testing procedures may impose standards for worker protection which are higher than laws existing within an individual state, but the agreement cannot impose standards which are lower than protections under the laws of an individual state.

In other words, the NFL and its players union had effectively stripped the Vikings players of protections already existing under Minnesota state law, which they are not empowered to do.

My personal take is that the NFL is filing this appeal knowing that the federal circuit court ruling will not be overturned, but they are proceeding anyway so that the status of the collective bargaining agreement is not brought into question between the league and its players on the subject of drug testing until the case is resolved. The NFL just wants to maintain the status quo for the moment, in my opinion.

And I will predict that the appeals court will tell the NFL that if there is an unequal application of drug testing policies and procedures across state lines under the collective bargaining agreement, then that is the responsibility of the NFL and the players union to address, and not the courts.
 

Cincy Saint

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This is no longer an issue over StarCaps or a question about the validity of the NFL's absolute liability policy. The players LOST on that issue at the State and Federal level. The only reason they have not already served their suspension is because the Federal Court refused support the argument that Federal labor law trumps state laws in the area of drug policy and testing. This is a HUGE issue for the NFL, because if it stands they will have to tailor their policy to each individual state law where they operate a team and a drug testing policy. In order to have a uniform policy for all teams, the NFL would be forced to lower the testing standards and policies to suit the most employer-hostile policy out there...not something the NFL wants to do, given their stance as having the toughest drug & steroid policy of any professional league.

There is no way they are going to just let this drop and "move on." It's too important an issue. Without a resolution in the NFL's favor the entire drug testing program will have to be made over from scratch, and it will be at the whim of any State government legislature that decides it doesn't like part of the policy.

I agree this is a big deal for the NFL. On one hand, they operate like a corporate -- TV contracts. But then they say the clubs are the companies and they are just a organizing entity. The issue is that the CBA wants to treat all the players like employee when in fact they are employed by the clubs.

Think about large companies in the US that operate in multiple states. They create policies that comply with state law OR they treat employees slightly differently by state (see California overtime laws). But the NFL is in a real bind here because the players don't actually work for them.
 

superchuck500

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This is no longer an issue over StarCaps or a question about the validity of the NFL's absolute liability policy. The players LOST on that issue at the State and Federal level. The only reason they have not already served their suspension is because the Federal Court refused support the argument that Federal labor law trumps state laws in the area of drug policy and testing. This is a HUGE issue for the NFL, because if it stands they will have to tailor their policy to each individual state law where they operate a team and a drug testing policy. In order to have a uniform policy for all teams, the NFL would be forced to lower the testing standards and policies to suit the most employer-hostile policy out there...not something the NFL wants to do, given their stance as having the toughest drug & steroid policy of any professional league.

There is no way they are going to just let this drop and "move on." It's too important an issue. Without a resolution in the NFL's favor the entire drug testing program will have to be made over from scratch, and it will be at the whim of any State government legislature that decides it doesn't like part of the policy.

Actually, the issue with the Minnesota law is that the NFL's disciplinary policy for a positive test did not contain the minimum safeguards under Minnesota law. The NFL's procedures were less than required in MN.

You're right that the bigger concern here for the NFL is the issue of uniformity and pre-emption (both of federal law and of the collective bargaining agreement). Minnesota law says that CBAs are free to have their own provisions for testing and positive-test discipline, but those provisions cannot provide for less than the minimum safeguards established by MN law. This is one of the key issues that remains in the case that has been remanded to the Minnesota state court.

But it really isn't as big of a deal as it may seem. Think of how many big companies there are with employees in different states. Many of these companies have CBAs, but they remain subject to the minimum safeguards found in state law, where there are such minimum safeguards (not every state has such a law). Thousands of companies deal with these issues without too much of a problem and there's no reason why the NFL is any different.

And other thing, the NFL is not a legal entity. It is not a corporation orignating under the corporate organization laws of a particular state. It is instead an affiliation of organizations (i.e. the individual teams) who act collectively in the form of the NFL. This has its advantages - but it also means that the NFL acts through its teams. The Minnesota Vikings players are employees of the Minnesota Vikings, which is a Minnesota entity. The New Orleans Saints players are employees of the New Orleans Saints, which is a Louisiana entity. So by the very nature (deliberate choice) of the NFL, it must operate within the bounds of the laws of the various states in which its members reside. But again, this shouldn't be that big of a deal. Not every state has laws with the nuances that Minnesota's does - and the NFL is more than capable of obtaining quality legal advice about the laws of the states in which its members operate.

About this new request for rehearing - it is very unlikely that it will result in anything. Rehearing requests are routinely denied, unless there's something very compelling. But the timing is something that we can't be sure about. The Minnesota state judge - to which the case was remanded by the federal district court (as affirmed by the 8th Circuit appellate court) - has said that his proceedings would not affect this NFL season. The request for rehearing, however, is before the 8th Circuit, the federal appeals court. I suspect that the 8th Circuit isn't going to sit on it for all that long, but I expect that they will deny it. (Not guaranteed though - it is possible, though remote, that the 8th circuit could grant the rehearing, but that would require another round of briefing and argument - which takes months. So by sheer workload, it is unlikely that the court would rule on the rehearing this season, even if it chooses to grant rehearing, which I don't believe it will.)
 

Jeff Miller

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This is no longer an issue over StarCaps or a question about the validity of the NFL's absolute liability policy. The players LOST on that issue at the State and Federal level. The only reason they have not already served their suspension is because the Federal Court refused support the argument that Federal labor law trumps state laws in the area of drug policy and testing. This is a HUGE issue for the NFL, because if it stands they will have to tailor their policy to each individual state law where they operate a team and a drug testing policy. In order to have a uniform policy for all teams, the NFL would be forced to lower the testing standards and policies to suit the most employer-hostile policy out there...not something the NFL wants to do, given their stance as having the toughest drug & steroid policy of any professional league.

There is no way they are going to just let this drop and "move on." It's too important an issue. Without a resolution in the NFL's favor the entire drug testing program will have to be made over from scratch, and it will be at the whim of any State government legislature that decides it doesn't like part of the policy.

that wouldn't nesscessarily be a bad thing. This is all about power. The power of the league office to act as grand dictator of the league. I don't see why the league can't do what other multi state corporations do. Require teams to have a drug testing policy (each team can have the same requirement) but then the team would implement the policy in themselves based on the laws of each state. The state can then audit the testing records of each team. This puts the burden of compliance on the team, not the league.
 
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NFL should let this one go.

I think Everyone agrees the NFL messed up, and that the players have a valid argument in this specific case.

One can only read into this that eventually the Saints players WILL BE SUSPENDED!
 

superchuck500

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NFL should let this one go.

I think Everyone agrees the NFL messed up, and that the players have a valid argument in this specific case.

One can only read into this that eventually the Saints players WILL BE SUSPENDED!

huh?
 

superchuck500

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Can the players sue the NFL for harassment?

Anybody can sue anybody else for anything. Surviving dismissal is another matter.

But no, the players do not have a valid cause of action against the NFL for "harassment".
 

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