Federal Labor Law Held Applicable to Tribal Casinos/ Washington State Bar Association Indian Law Section newsletter


On February 9, 2007, the United States Court

of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Circuit affirmed the National Labor Relations

Board’s application of federal labor

law to the San Manuel Indian Bingo &

Casino in California. In doing so, the Appeals Court ruled

that application of the National Labor Relations Act to the

Casino did not impair the tribal sovereignty of the San

Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, which owns and

operates the Casino on its reservation in San Bernardino

County, California. The decision will have enormous ramifications

on tribal efforts in response to the concerted

efforts of Unite HERE and other labor organizations to

organize unions at casinos. This article explains these consequences.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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