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Appeal expected in Forest County Potawatomi casino lawsuit

Filed Under: Litigation
More on: eeoc, employment, fcpt, immunity, supreme court, wisconsin

The Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo © Forest County Potawatomi Tribe

A casino employment dispute involving the Forest County Potawatomi Community of Wisconsin could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

A federal judge ruled that the tribe must comply with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission subpoena as part of an age discrimination investigation at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino. The decision could affect tribal gaming enterprises across the country.

"This is the type of case that has the issues that could make its way to the Supreme Court," attorney R. Lance Boldrey, whose firm is studying a gaming issue for the state, told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Skip Durocher, another attorney who heads up an Indian law practice, told the paper that "courts around the country have come down on both sides of the issue." The conflicts could make the Supreme Court want to resolve the matter once and for all.

I. Nelson Rose, a gaming law expert, said the case speaks to a large issue that the Supreme Court is already considering as part of Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community. He said tribal sovereign immunity is being questioned.

"Twenty years ago (the Potawatomi case) would have been decided the opposite way," Rose told the paper. "Now I think there is pretty good chance it will be upheld."

The tribe hasn't said whether it will appeal.

Get the Story:
Potawatomi tribe must turn over employment records, judge rules (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 5/10)

District Court Decision:
EEOC v. Forest County Potawatomi Community (May 6, 2014)

Related Stories:
Forest County Potawatomi casino must reply to EEOC subpoena (5/9)

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