Editorial: Blue Lake Rancheria goes off-reservation with business
"Here we go again. Yet another controversy regarding off-reservation businesses owned by Indian tribal governments. Should these firms be treated as private sector businesses under state and federal laws – or should they be treated as tribal governments?

It is clear that by claiming tribal government status for their off-reservation businesses, tribes are finding new ways to get around state and federal laws that protect workers – and helping non-tribal businesses do so, too.

Congress needs to step in to close this giant loophole.

Here is the issue at hand. The 53-member Blue Lake Rancheria Indian tribe, located north of Eureka, opened Folsom-based Mainstay Business Solutions (more than 300 miles away) in June 2003. It leases workers to non-tribal businesses.

These non-tribal firms, if they hired workers directly, would have to follow state and federal laws that apply to private profit-making businesses. But if Mainstay hires them and then leases them back to the non-tribal firms, Mainstay claims tribal government status."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribe's gambit hurts workers (The Sacramento Bee 7/17)

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