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NLRB asserts jurisdiction at Chickasaw Nation gaming facility

Filed Under: Litigation | Public Relations
More on: chickasaw, employment, jurisdiction, nlrb, oklahoma, treaties
The Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma violated federal labor law at its casino near the Texas border, the National Labor Relations Board said in a July 12 decision.

The tribe disputed the NLRB's jurisdiction at the WinStar World Casino. But the board said its authority would not infringe on the tribe's treaty rights or its self-governance.

On the contrary, the board concluded that language in the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek subjects the tribe to "all" federal laws. The 1866 Treaty of Washington, which was signed after the end of the Civil War, also confirms federal jurisdiction over the tribe, according to the decision.

"We read this language as clearly permitting the United States to exercise broad legislative authority over the nation," the decision stated.

The NLRB then determined that the tribe violated the rights of its employees, who were told that the National Labor Relations Act does not apply at the casino. The statement was reportedly made by a casino executive.

The tribe was ordered to "cease and desist from informing employees that that they do not have the protection of the [NLRA] because of tribal sovereignty."

The case is Chickasaw Nation d/b/a WinStar World Casino.

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