All Articles

Age Discrimination is Dumb

Richard McGee 612-812-9673 My news feed fed me an article from the Wealthy Nickel titled 15 Reasons Employers Won’t Hire People Over 50.  I do not know what the Wealthy Nickel is and I am agnostic on its value to society writ large.  On the other hand, I am not agnostic on an article that fails to unequivocally condemn employers that discriminate against hiring older workers because I am an older worker, and [...]

Proof of Significant Harm in Discrimination Cases Not Necessary

Richard McGee 612-812-9673 The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not require evidence of significant harm to conclude that unlawful discrimination occurred in the workplace.  Title VII addresses discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex.  Remember, in most instances, Title VII exempts tribal employers from compliance.  Nevertheless, the lesson from Muldrow v. City of St. Louis is [...]

At-Will or For-Cause…Which is Better?

Richard McGee 612-812-9673 Your lawyers like at-will and your employees like for cause. Is there a middle ground between the views held by legal counsel and devoted employees? Yes.  At-will employment creates a low threshold for employees and employers to end the employment relationship.  Employees can leave you without any reason and employers can discharge employees for any reason unless it violates the law or employer policy. For cause or just cause employment [...]

Independent Contractor or Employee…Does it Matter?

Richard McGee (website) 612-812-9673 Yes, it matters. Big Brother, The Man and the Government believe that when employers classify a worker as an independent contractor the employer is making that choice to intentionally avoid employer responsibilities to the worker, the government and others.  By intentionally misclassifying workers as independent contractors, the employer can avoid minimum wage and overtime, taxes and some liability for the contractor’s actions.  Of course there are other employers misclassifying [...]

Will Your Department Be Better in 2024?

What is Your Strategic Plan for Your Department in 2024? Richard McGee 612-812-9673 As 2024 begins now is the time to discuss whether your department will improve or maintain its status quo.  Improvement comes from being proactive on some goals and objectives that will make your department a little bit better (or a lot better) over the next 12 to 18 months.  If you choose to improve in 2024 it will not be easy [...]

Federal Vaccine Mandate Apply to Tribal Employers

Federal Vaccine Mandate for Employers Weeks ago President Biden asserted that his administration will require employers with more than 100 employees, health care workers and employers engaged in federal contracts to require their workers to be vaccinated or be tested for COVID on a weekly basis.   As to federal contractors that promise was met via a guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.  A regulation, that likely will provide more details, is [...]

Investigations Training

My two day investigations training is scheduled for April 22 and 23 by Zoom.  There are available spots if you and your team want to attend.  The training costs $495 for each participant.  NNAHRA kindly approves this training as credit hours toward recertification. Please write or call if you want to attend: or 612-812-9673. Thank you.

Investigations Training

There is interest in my two-day Investigations Training.  I have tentatively scheduled the training for April 22 and 23, 2021 (apologize for the short notice).  Part of the motivation for the requests for those dates is for THRP recertification.  NNAHRA has been very kind in allowing my training sessions to count toward THRP recertification. If you are interested in registering for the Zoom training, the Investigations training is $495 per person. Please reach out at [...]

Posters, Policies & Forms

The first question presented is whether tribal employers should hang posters? Please do not think about posters of sports stars or good looking celebrities, but instead think about the exciting posters summarizing employee rights relating to worker’s compensation, minimum wage and union organizing. Some laws require that employers hang posters in workplace common areas to inform employees of their rights and the employer’s responsibilities. Whether tribal employers should hang the federal posters depends on whether [...]

Performance Reviews?

Should employers suspend performance evaluations in 2020 because of COVID? Answer:  No.  That is my answer but others disagree. In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled Pandemic Produces a Kinder, Gentler Performance Review, the question presented was whether performance evaluations should be suspended because both employers and employees have had a difficult year.    The article discussed a pandemic-driven management style called empathetic leadership.  Empathetic leadership involves recognizing and evaluating the whole person and [...]

Can Employers Mandate Vaccines?

Can tribal employers compel employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19? My email inbox has received this question numerous times in the last week and therefore I thought it was a good time to address the question.  Answer:  Yes with some likely exceptions.   Tribal employers start from the premise that the tribe defines the terms and conditions of employment as an exercise of the tribe’s inherent sovereignty.  Accordingly, if the tribe mandates vaccines for its [...]

HR Professional Virtues

As human resources professionals there is a significant range of skills, talents, attributes and virtues needed to navigate the myriad workplace challenges.  On the subject of virtues required for human resources professionals, the following article appeared in the Employment & Labor Insider blog written by lawyer Robin Shea.   HR Virtue No. 1: They have "spider sense." By the time the lawyers get called in, the harm is often done already and all we can do is grab [...]

Do Your Managers Know at Least 101 Things?

101 Things Everyone Should Know About Tribal Employment After discrimination and harassment, our most popular training session is 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Tribal Employment and the materials for that session are now a published book, a power point presentation, a 50 plus question quiz and a summary of the 128 takeaways from the class.  The book's front cover is below.  A huge thank you to our friend Tal Moore who made meaningful suggestions [...]

NNAHRA Plus Fall Training

NNAHRA I have the privilege of working with the dedicated NNAHRA team this week in preparation for the NNAHRA Conference starting September 28.  Part of that preparation has included working with the lawyers who will bring you the annual legal update.  The update (in my view) is important this year and will discuss a range of important issues including COVID best practices, confidentiality, jurisdiction (recent Supreme Court decision), changes to the FLSA, modified FMLA forms, [...]

101 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Tribal Employment

101 Things is my most popular training sessions.  The written materials are now updated with significantly more detail and analysis.  I wanted to make sure that the session provided the 101 things promised by the title.  After counting, the session provides 128 things, but I like the 101 Things title and will be sticking with that.  Below is a summary of the 128 things your administrators, directors, managers and supervisors should know about working for [...]

NNAHRA Conference

The NNAHRA Conference is a little more than a month away and I look forward to being both a speaker and a participant at a fantastic virtual conference.  The conference agenda includes a really smart mix of COVID related practical sessions while at the same time the conference will deliver practical solutions to the other short term and long term issues confronted by human resources. I look forward to the legal update, the keynote speeches, [...]


Whether the Family & Medical Leave Act applies to tribes is an open question with an argument that it applies and an argument it does not apply.  Many tribal employers provide job protected leave which is similar to or the same as the FMLA.  The federal Department of Labor enforces the FMLA and its work includes the publication of forms frequently used by employers to comply with the FMLA.  Those forms just changed and I [...]

Drafting Tribal Employment Laws & Handbooks was recently published and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Xlibris and wherever you purchase books.

Drafting Tribal Employment Laws & Handbooks is a practical guide to drafting comprehensive tribal employment laws and the policies included in tribal government, casino and enterprise handbooks. The book explains why this is important and illustrates how to get these documents created and accepted. The book will help tribal leaders, administrators, lawyers, directors and managers either create these laws and policies or improve the laws and policies presently on the books. Drafting Tribal Employment Laws & [...]

Gratitude & Opportunities

A thank you, a book, investigations, hearings and more articles. First and foremost, I continue to be exceedingly grateful to my colleagues at tribal governments and enterprises for the opportunity to serve during this difficult time.  Even though we are not meeting face to face, we are meeting by phone and videoconference.  That may not be the perfect option but it is the best solution…and it is working.  We are discussing the return of employees, [...]