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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, [...]

Employer Liability Issues During COVID

Outside of Indian Country, an early May 2020 count revealed dozens of COVID-19 employment related lawsuits in federal courts.  Eight lawsuits alleged violations related to leaves of absence, six were for discrimination and harassment, five for wage and hour claims, three for workplace safety, three for constitutional and civil rights and two for labor issues.  As tribal employers return employees to the workplace, here is a brief overview of potential issues which may generate litigation. [...]

Tribal Employer Reopen Policies

Tribal employers are confronted with the difficult decision of inviting employees back to the tribal workplace to provide the needed services to their tribal members and communities and reopen the businesses which fund those governmental programs.  When a tribal employer reopens those governmental operations (essential government functions and enterprises) are there policies which should be created or modified to address these unique times?  The answer is yes and here are some draft policies for your [...]

Three Questions Returning Employees

In this edition three questions are addressed which are relevant to employees returning to work for tribal governments, casinos and other entities.  I have benefitted from consulting with NNAHRA President Judy Wright in thinking about these questions. Can a tribal employer discipline an employee for refusal to work generated by fears about contracting COVID-19 at work? Can a tribal employer terminate an employee who refuses to return to work because of lack of childcare? If [...]

Tribal Employment News-EEOC Modifies Guidance

EEOC Re-Issues Confusing Guidance   As tribal governments, casinos and other entities are reopening, there are many questions in how best to protect returning employees.  Even though the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lacks jurisdiction in most instances over tribal employers, the rules it is articulating in this difficult time can influence a tribal employer’s thinking in defining tribal rules.  EEOC modified its guidance to address those employees who have medical conditions that make them [...]