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
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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:
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes united against Keystone XL Pipeline (9/19)
Regina Brave: The earth that once was will soon be no more (9/19)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: A conversation about suicide (9/19)
Cobell settlement checks being cashed across Indian Country (9/19)
Congress passes measure for tribal general welfare programs (9/19)
Native Sun News: US Senate candidates debate Native issues (9/18)
Cobell settlement checks landing in Indian Country mailboxes (9/18)
Sen. Walsh welcomes arrival of last Cobell settlement payout (9/18)
Rep. Daines praises House action on tribal general welfare bill (9/18)
Winnebago attorney joins BIA as a deputy assistant secretary (9/18)
NWIFC schedules briefing on 'Treaty Rights 101' on Capitol Hill (9/18)
Norbert Hill: It's past time to drop the Washington NFL mascot (9/18)
Peter d'Errico: Connecting mascots to racism and termination (9/18)
Opinion: Eliminating NFL team's racist mascot is just the start (9/18)
Student newspaper punished over refusal to print the R-word (9/18)
Officer investigated for 'drunk uneducated animals' comment (9/18)
9th Circuit rules against Chemehuevi Tribe in land deed case (9/18)
Mashable: Oglala Sioux man still pushing MazaCoin currency (9/18)
City won't allow vote on Tohono O'odham Nation casino plan (9/18)
9th Circuit poses tough questions in Big Lagoon casino case (9/18)
North Fork Rancheria banks on voter approval of casino deal (9/18)
KBIC judge dismisses lawsuit challenging plan for new casino (9/18)
Oneida Nation concerned about location of commercial casino (9/18)
Mashantucket Tribe's gaming executive to resign next month (9/18)
Column: Time for Mohegan Tribe to show its hand over casino (9/18)
Native Sun News: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe honors veterans (9/17)
Mark Trahant: Is independence in the future for tribal nations? (9/17)
Audio: SCIA takes up bill to bar Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/17)
House approves bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/17)
House Natural Resources Committee sets markup on tribal bills (9/17)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on bill for Hualapai Tribe (9/17)
9th Circuit takes up Big Lagoon Rancheria gaming land dispute (9/17)
House passes bill to shield Gun Lake Tribe casino from litigation (9/17)
Andre Cramblit: Enjoying life at Dartmouth as a Native student (9/17)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tribes need to lead climate change reform (9/17)
Sarah Deer wins genius grant for work to protect Native women (9/17)
Tex Hall loses bid for another term as chair of North Dakota tribe (9/17)
Group starts dragging of river in search of missing Native women (9/17)
Appeal filed over Navajo language ability of presidential hopeful (9/17)
Trial delayed for leader of Muscogee Nation accused in theft case (9/17)
Editorial: Pass bill to extend federal recognition to Virginia tribes (9/17)
NLRB reaffirms jurisdiction over Little River Band gaming facility (9/17)
Chumash Tribe to use labor unions for all work on casino project (9/17)
Student arrested over theft at Saginaw Chippewa Tribe's casino (9/17)
Native Sun News: Homeless students find support in Rapid City (9/16)
Checks from final payment of Cobell settlement put in the mail (9/16)
DOI offers $9.4M for Cobell buy-backs on Umatilla Reservation (9/16)
House takes up bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/16)
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.