indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Dynamic Homes
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Facility in Montana set to house Indian inmates (8/27)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts youth to work for summer (8/27)
Gabe Galanda: Academia won't tackle tribal disenrollment issues (8/27)
Another pipeline spills saltwater on reservation in North Dakota (8/27)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (8/27)
Former IHS information security officer convicted for child porn (8/27)
Native Sun News: Tribes take on Air Force over expansion plan (8/26)
Charles Trimble: Pine Ridge -- the Hollywood of Indian Country (8/26)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois on both sides for War of 1812 (8/26)
Heather Kendall-Miller: GOP candidate a threat to Native rights (8/26)
Fired Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer indicted for taser incident (8/26)
Sen. Jon Tester to hold session on trafficking in Indian Country (8/26)
Hoopa Valley Tribe takes action due to large number of arsons (8/26)
Non-recognized tribe in Texas hails ruling in eagle feather case (8/26)
Jodi Lee Spotted Bear: Supporting Native language immersion (8/26)
Proposal filed for Wampanoag language public charter school (8/26)
Gila River Indian Community mourns loss of first female leader (8/26)
Jose Barreiro: Indigenous leaders hold historic meeting in Cuba (8/26)
Tribes use reservations to restore rare and endangered species (8/26)
Rival factions unite in takeover attempt within Chukchansi Tribe (8/26)
Darlene Miller seeks to be first female Seneca Nation president (8/26)
7th Circuit bars tribal jurisdiction in Indian payday loan dispute (8/26)
Law school in Colorado sets conference on sovereign immunity (8/26)
Mississippi Choctaw family believes same person behind deaths (8/26)
Cherokee Nation to break ground on casino on Indian allotment (8/26)
Stillaguamish Tribe finally secures reservation status for casino (8/26)
Mashantucket Tribe to open retail concourse at casino on Friday (8/26)
Opinion: Predatory gaming companies exploit tribes and patrons (8/26)
Caesars Entertainment debuts $442M urban casino in Baltimore (8/26)
Tim Giago: Farewell to my childhood friend Eugene Long Soldier (8/25)
Mark Trahant: Tapping the power of social media for Native vote (8/25)
Native Sun News: Laguna Pueblo still affected by uranium mine (8/25)
Oliver Semans: Seeing the light on Native voting rights struggle (8/25)
John Hopkins: Navajo Nation Council delegate makes bad choice (8/25)
James Mills: Non-Indian firm helps tribes create stronger nations (8/25)
Navajo voters to narrow field of 17 candidates for president's job (8/25)
Judge Humetewa hands down sentence in Indian child abuse case (8/25)
Scientists publish lengthy book based on study of Kennewick Man (8/25)
Rival tribe spends big in fight over Tohono O'odham Nation casino (8/25)
Eastern Cherokees resist Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina (8/25)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe seeking investors for Class II facility (8/25)
WUWM: Menominee Nation still waiting for off-reservation casino (8/25)
Editorial: Vote on Enterprise Rancheria Class III gaming compact (8/25)
Native Sun News: Indian farmers question Keepseagle attorneys (8/22)
Brandon Ecoffey: Navajo golfer Rickie Fowler is a fast-rising star (8/22)
Oglala Sioux leader and educator Gerald One Feather passes on (8/22)
Indigenous Fine Arts Market kicks off big weekend in New Mexico (8/22)
Gyasi Ross: Native people are all too familiar with police brutality (8/22)
Melanie Yazzie: Border town violence connected to colonization (8/22)
Ray Young Bear: No tribal member wants to be known by R-word (8/22)
Washington Post: Editorial board will no longer use R-word 'slur' (8/22)
Matthew Murguia: The facts are clear on Washington NFL mascot (8/22)
Three Indian artists selected as NEA's National Heritage Fellows (8/22)
President of Navajo Nation bans smoking in executive buildings (8/22)
Recently recognized Tejon Tribe to close enrollment next month (8/22)
Cowlitz Tribe pays $1.4M for building to be used as medical office (8/22)
Nooksack Tribe must answer to casino loan lawsuit in state court (8/22)
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.