This is no trick or treat: Employees and patrons of Graton Casino may want to think twice before entering Indian land...
Graton Casino Patrons & Employees: Beware! | Stop Graton Casino
Graton Casino Patrons & Employees: Beware! October 29, 2013 0Casino patrons and employees alike, must be extra careful when entering tribal land. Since tribal reservations set and follow their own set of rules, Graton Casino employees might want to read the fine print of their contracts. Indian tribe.....
Graton Casino Patrons & Employees: Beware!
Casino patrons and employees alike, must be extra careful when entering tribal land. Since tribal reservations set and follow their own set of rules, Graton Casino employees might want to read the fine print of their contracts. Indian tribes follow the majority of federal laws, but tribes are exempt from some laws.
Once you are on Native American land, t
he tribal courts have civil and criminal jurisdiction over those who are members or conduct business on federal Indian reservations. With Graton Rancheria being a federally recognized tribe, they will have jurisdiction over the people residing on their land.
This story below proves just how federal courts dismissed a case of workplace harassment since it was on Indian land.So, before you feed that slot at Graton Casino, you might want to read up and be aware of your rights prior to spending that hard earned paycheck.
Indian casinos don’t have to enforce workplace lawsBy Christopher B. Nolan
The Superior Court, at the request of Cache Creek, threw out the case, holding that Cache Creek was owned and operated by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation (formerly the Rumsey Indian Rancheria of Wintun Indians) and, therefore, the casino could not be sued under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. In other words, as an Indian nation, the U.S. and California courts had no power to sue unless that power was established by treaty or compact. As a result, M.D. was left with no job and no legal remedy.
Indian casinos are operated under a compact with the state. This is a form of agreement where in exchange for the right to operate gambling establishments (unlawful in California other than on certain sovereign Indian lands), the tribes agree to share revenues through applicable taxes and licenses with the state. In its compact with the state, the tribe agreed to “adopt and comply with standards no less stringent than federal laws and state laws forbidding employers generally from discriminating in the employment of persons to work for the Gaming Operation or in the Gaming Facility on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.”
The compact stated that if a tribe failed to adopt such regulations, “The applicable state statute or regulation shall be deemed to have been adopted by the Tribe as the applicable standard.” The tribe never adopted any standard, and when sued by my firm for what would be a very serious case of harassment, it filed a motion to dismiss, stating that “put simply, an agreement to adopt particular standards does not constitute a consent by the tribe to be sued for an alleged violation of these standards.” As the U.S. Supreme Court has explained, “There is a difference between the right to demand compliance with state laws and the means available to enforce them.”
In short, the tribe said: Just because we agreed we would adopt the standard doesn’t mean we actually had to and, by the way, you can’t sue us in state or federal court as we are a co-equal nation over which you hold no power unless we have agreed to give it to you or have waived our right to sovereignty.
The Superior Court in Yolo County, adopting a long line of Indian sovereign immunity cases, agreed and dismissed the plaintiffs’ case not only against the casino but against the individual managers, holding that they, as employees of the casino, also enjoyed the immunity generally reserved for ambassadors and diplomats.
So, Cache Creek Casino will never be subject to any legal scrutiny of this conduct because it wrote a compact, signed by Gov. Gray Davis (later amended by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger), that did not contain any mechanism for enforcing employee rights.
Think about that the next time you decide to go to Cache Creek to spend your hard-earned money. The casino should have a huge sign at the employee entrance saying, “You have left the United States and the state of California — you have no rights under the anti-discrimination laws and your courts can’t touch us.”