Court says NLRA applies to tribes

May 1, 2018 3:00 AM

A U.S. appeals court has ruled that employees at Native American casinos can receive protection under a federal labor law, saying the law does not violate a tribe’s right to self-government.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled unanimously late last week that federal officials reasonably concluded the National Labor Relations Act (NRLA) applies to tribal employers.

The decision stems from a dispute over efforts to unionize employees at Casino Pauma, a Southern California casino owned by the Pauma Band of Mission Indians. A judge ruled in 2015 that the tribe committed unfair labor practices under the NLRA when it tried to stop the distribution of union leaflets.

The 9th Circuit upheld that ruling.