A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that an investigation into the employment practices of an Indian tribal casino located in Milwaukee can proceed. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is looking into allegations of age discrimination made by a former employee of the casino. The ruling allows the EEOC to enforce an August 2013 subpoena that requested information to investigate the claim.
The casino's attorneys asserted that it was administered according to tribal practices and was not an "employer" subject to the requirements of the ADEA. They argued that applying federal anti-discrimination laws would be inconsistent with Indian self-governance. However, the judge ruled that the Potawatomi tribe was not acting in its governmental capacity while operating the casino, and she observed that the employee making the allegations of discrimination was not a member of the tribe. The judge concluded that the casino operated as a business, and its relationship with the employee in question was therefore subject to federal laws and regulations.
Employees with a great deal of experience are usually valued members of an organization, but they may also earn higher incomes and receive more comprehensive benefits than younger coworkers. When an older worker loses their job, they often find new opportunities to be few and far between. An attorney with employment law experience may seek to hold employers responsible for their actions by taking legal action on behalf of workers who have been discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly.
Source: US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, "Federal Court Approves EEOC Subpoena in Investigation of Giant Milwaukee Indian Casino", May 08, 2014