indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree - University of Tulsa College of Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Printer friendly version
Court denies tribal exemption from labor laws
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2003

A federal appeals court on Thursday cleared the way for a California tribe's health organization to be subpoenaed for resisting the presence of a labor union.

In a unanimous decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a set of subpoenas from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent federal agency charged with enforcing labor laws. A three-judge panel said the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies to tribal governments even if they aren't specifically mentioned.

"In these circumstances, applying the NLRA does not clearly appear to touch on purely intramural matters that affect the right to [tribal] self-governance," wrote Pamela Ann Rymer for the majority.

The court cautioned that it wasn't ruling that the subpoenas themselves were valid. "We are in no way resolving the issue of the board's jurisdiction," Rymer wrote.

But the court ignored arguments set forth by the Rumsey Indian Rancheria, whose Chapa-De Indian Health Program was ordered by the NLRB to surrender tribal documents and allow its senior management to testify. The tribe pointed to a recent decision in which San Juan Pueblo of New Mexico won a sovereignty challenge to the NLRA.

In that case, the Pueblo's right to work law was upheld by a divided 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. By a 9-1 majority, the court said the ordinance, which prevents forced unionism, was an exercise of self-governance.

"Like states and territories, the Pueblo has a strong interest as a sovereign in regulating economic activity involving its own members within its own territory," wrote Chief Judge Deanell R. Tacha in that case, "and it therefore may enact laws governing such activity."

In rejecting the rancheria's position, the 9th Circuit yesterday drew a distinction. "Pueblo of San Juan is not persuasive because the court there expressly noted that the 'general applicability of federal labor law is not at issue,'" the decision stated.

The 9th Circuit also said the subpoenas don't infringe on tribal sovereignty because most of the Chupa-De's staff and management is non-Indian. The court pointed out that nearly half of the patients are non-Indian.

The case returns to the NLRB, which has to examine whether it indeed has jurisdiction over Chupa-De, whose medical support staff wants to organize with Teamsters Local 228. Some employees allege they were fired for that effort. The appeals court could have pre-empted that analysis had it sided with Chupa-De.

With three clinics in Yolo County, Chapa-De serves nearly 6,000 Indian patients. In addition to the Rumsey Rancheria, the service area includes the United Auburn Community.

Get the Decision:
NAT'L LABOR RELATIONS BD. v. CHAPA DE INDIAN HEALTH PROGRAM, INC., No. 02-15576 (9th Cir. January 16, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Chapa-De Indian Health Program - http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/YoloLINK/
programs/pChapaDeIndian-3066.html

National Labor Relations Board - http://www.nlrb.gov
National Right to Work Foundation - http://www.nrtw.org
Teamsters Local 228 - http://teamsterslocal228.com
NCAI resolution on labor - http://130.94.214.68/data/docs/resolution/
2001_winter_session/ECWS001_05.htm

Related Stories:
Tribal labor bill draws complaints (04/18)
Pueblo wins sovereignty case (1/14)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: EPA hears Native views about uranium mining (5/27)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe tackles school truancy (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Native village secures return of ancestral territory (5/26)
Secretary Jewell leads delegation to Indian school in Oklahoma (5/26)
Updated witness list for SCIA hearing on economic development (5/26)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules meeting and hearing (5/26)
Mary Ann Andreas: Candidates must keep informed about tribes (5/26)
Steve Russell: National sovereignty cannot cloak all evil conduct (5/26)
Gabriel Galanda: The tide is turning against tribal disenrollments (5/26)
Boyd Cothran: America moves from Civil War to the Indian Wars (5/26)
Vivian Delgado: Native college graduates mark a rite of passage (5/26)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe asks BIA to inspect financial documents (5/26)
Maine tribes hold rally after withdrawing from state Legislature (5/26)
Chemehuevi Tribe to reopen elementary school on reservation (5/26)
Appropriations bill allows VA hospitals to recommend marijuana (5/26)
Native women compete in first Miss Indigenous Ecuador contest (5/26)
Cayuga Nation Leaders: Tribe hasn't authorized gaming facilities (5/26)
Pair last seen at San Pasqual casino found on nearby reservation (5/26)
Chukchansi Tribe remains in talks with NIGC for casino reopening (5/26)
Pala Band finishes $5.7M casino renovation in just a few months (5/26)
Leader of Sandia Pueblo accused of preventing arrest at casino (5/26)
Tim Giago: Boot camp etched forever into the minds of veterans (5/25)
Native Sun News: Newspaper comes home with 14 media awards (5/25)
Gyasi Ross: Martin Sensmeier lands role in major Hollywood film (5/25)
Andre Cramblit: Let's see some real Indian actors on the screen (5/25)
Steven Newcomb: U.S. perpetuates dominance over our nations (5/25)
Valerie Goodness: Don't ignore indigenous ecological knowledge (5/25)
Peter d'Errico: Lawmakers kill bill for indigenous rights in Canada (5/25)
Matthew Scraper: ICWA opponents wrong to cite blood quantum (5/25)
Judge at center of ICWA lawsuit in South Dakota stripped of title (5/25)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne student receives top honor (5/22)
Lakota Country Times: Newspaper takes home a slew of awards (5/22)
James Davies: The new tactic is to pretend racism doesn't exist (5/22)
Thomas O'Rourke: Yurok Tribe is a leader in forest restoration (5/22)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Message to all young Native Americans (5/22)
Matt Remle: Tribal nations take a stand to protect Turtle Island (5/22)
DOJ proposes bill to improve access to voting in Indian Country (5/22)
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate ready to exercise VAWA jurisdiction (5/22)
Grande Ronde Tribes await decision on flying flag at high school (5/22)
Cherokee Nation sues pharmaceutical firms over drug products (5/22)
Snoqualmie Tribe reports result of election for five council seats (5/22)
Law Article: Navajo Nation wages battle over 'Navajo' products (5/22)
Review: A son leads his father into the wild with 'Medicine Walk' (5/22)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe to distribute $2.7M in gaming revenues (5/22)
Prairie Island Indian Community eyes $19M expansion at casino (5/22)
Creek Nation seeks Native workers for $329M casino expansion (5/22)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to debut rodeo event at reopened casino (5/22)
Opinion: Poarch Creeks need state to protect gaming enterprise (5/22)
Native Sun News: North Dakota tribe hit with another brine spill (5/21)
Lakota Country Times: NAIHC presents honor for lifetime service (5/21)
Ivan Star: I'm finding it hard to stand for 'Star Spangled Banner' (5/21)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds field hearing in Oklahoma (5/21)
Haskell University announces cuts to troubled athletics program (5/21)
Crystal Echo Hawk: Indian Country still invisible to philanthropy (5/21)
Judge won't require school to allow eagle feather at graduation (5/21)
School apologizes for teaching song about brutal Indian mission (5/21)
Coquille Tribe hosts National Indian Timber Symposium in June (5/21)
Pokagon Band to file land-into-trust application at housing site (5/21)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe to hold election for chief and sub-chief (5/21)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to honor Civil War veterans (5/21)
Yakama Nation woman sentenced to 10 years for child abuse (5/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.