Catholic University Law Review


Thomas Gentry


Labor arbitration is the primary mean by which employers and employees resolve disputes. The shortcomings of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on labor arbitration have intensified as more employees opt for arbitration. These shortcomings are no more apparent than with the National Football League and its players.

This Comment uses NFL player Adrian Peterson and his player-discipline arbitration process as an example of the gaps in the Supreme Court’s case law. The Supreme Court announced the Essence Test in 1960 with the seminal Steelworker Trilogy Cases. Since 1960, lower courts have been unable to consistently apply the test, leading to a split in the circuits. This Comment analyzes the issues with the Essence Test through the context of the Adrian Peterson arbitration and suggests steps to add clarification, through both legislative and judicial processes.


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