In southern California, the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians has reportedly failed in its attempt to get the United States Supreme Court to reconsider a lower court’s ruling that tied workers at its Casino Pauma to a raft of federal labor laws.
According to a Monday report from Indianz.com, the federally-recognized tribe believed that it was right to ban workers from disseminating union materials near its San Diego County casino due to the fact that the facility is located on tribal land and, as such, was exempt from rules issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reportedly disagreed with the stance taken by the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians in the matter of Casino Pauma v NLRB and significantly decided in April of last year that the tribe must abide by federal labor laws because its casino has non-aboriginal employees and caters to non-tribal customers. As part of her 35-page ruling, Circuit Court Judge, Marsha Brezon, deferred to a 2004 determination from the NLRB that had extended this federal body’s jurisdiction to aboriginal-owned enterprises such as hotels and casinos in order to make it easier for their workers to organize and fight for their rights.
Reportedly read a portion of Judge Brezon’s ruling…
“Under these circumstances, in which both the board and the parties present reasonable interpretations of an ambiguous provision in the NLRA, the court must defer to the board’s conclusions respecting the meaning of federal labor law.”
Unhappy with a verdict that brought the NLRB’s rules into its Casino Pauma, the California tribe reportedly later submitted an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and had hoped that this would result in the earlier ruling being overturned. But, the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians has now purportedly been left disappointed after its petition failed to make it onto the docket of cases that are scheduled to be heard during the next sitting of the nation’s highest court.
Indianz.com additionally reported that local and state governments in the United States are not subject to the rules of the NLRB while recent Republican-led legislative efforts designed to bring parity to tribal areas have met with failure. The most recent of these was purportedly known as the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, which was passed by the United States House of Representatives last year only to suffer defeat in the United States Senate by a 55-to-41 vote.