San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino v. N.L.R.B.

475 F.3d 1306 (2007)

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San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino v. N.L.R.B.

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
475 F.3d 1306 (2007)

Facts

San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians (the tribe) owned and operated the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino (the casino), located on the tribe’s reservation in California. The casino was established by the tribal government pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to promote the tribe’s economic development. In establishing the casino, the tribal government enacted a labor ordinance and executed a gaming compact with California. Revenues from the casino were used for tribe members’ medical coverage, scholarships, housing, and reservation infrastructure. The vast majority of the casino’s employees and patrons were non-Indians who lived outside of the reservation. In 1999, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE), a labor union that sought to organize the casino’s employees, filed unfair-labor-practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), arguing that the casino infringed HERE’s collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by denying HERE access to casino property while the casino granted such access to the Communication Workers of America (CWA), another labor union that sought to organize the casino’s employees. The tribe sought dismissal, arguing that the NLRB lacked jurisdiction because the tribe’s sovereignty rendered the NLRA inapplicable to the tribal government’s actions on the reservation. The NLRB found that the NLRA was applicable and that no exceptions applied. The NLRB ordered the tribe to give HERE access to casino property. The tribe petitioned the district court for review, and the NLRB filed a cross-application to have its order enforced.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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