Sessions Summaries

Tribal Employment Law & Standards for Tribal Leaders, Executives, Administrators & Directors. 2 days.

This session addresses the impact of self-determination, sovereignty, immunity, jurisdiction, federal funds, federal and state law, tradition and custom on tribal employment practices. Moreover, the session addresses important questions like….Do tribal employers have to follow state employment laws? What about federal employment laws? How does preference really work? How does TERO impact preference? Can tribal employers define the terms and conditions of employment and how is that done? What is at-will employment? What is for-cause employment? Can employees say impolite things on social media and be held accountable? What are the fundamentals of those federal laws which tribes most likely follow? How do employee references work? What is the federal background law? What are harassment, discrimination and protected class and how are they related?

Tribal Employment Law & Standards for Tribal Leaders, Executives, Administrators & Directors. 4 hours.

This session is a shortened version of the two day class. Some tribal leaders are not able to allocate two days to the full session (discussed above) but those leaders can devote half a day to these important ideas before making decisions about promulgating employment codes, modifying the tribe’s preference policy or updating the employee handbook.

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Due Process for Tribal Employers. 2 days.

Is the tribe a fair employer? Does the grievance procedure serve the tribal employer and its employees? Does the tribe provide meaningful due process for its employees? In this session due process is defined by evaluating the common law, Indian Civil Rights Act, tribal policy and procedure, and tribal tradition and custom. What is the role of clearly defining expectations for employees? How do tribal employers hold employees accountable to those standards? What formal and informal protocols are in place to provide employees an opportunity to be heard? What is a meaningful grievance, complaint and appeal procedure? If the tribal court has a role, what is that role?

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Effective Employee Misconduct Investigations. 2 days.

Tribal employers investigate allegations of employee misconduct. Misconduct, in various forms, including harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination, theft, bullying and violence. This session addresses the questions of when, who and how to investigate these claims. Should the investigator be from human resources or from the respondent’s department? When should tribal employers engage an outside investigator? How do investigators plan the investigation? What are the best practices for interviewing the victim, respondent and witnesses? How do investigators prepare their reports? Who decides on discipline if there is discipline?

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