- Associated Press - Thursday, April 26, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A U.S. appeals court says employees at Native American casinos can receive protection under a federal labor law.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Thursday that federal officials reasonably concluded that the National Labor Relations Act applies to tribal employers. The judges said the law does not violate tribes’ right to self-government.

The decision came in a fight over efforts to unionize employees at Casino Pauma, a Southern California casino owned by the Pauma Band of Mission Indians. A judge ruled in 2015 that the tribe committed unfair labor practices under the NLRA when it tried to stop the distribution of union leaflets.

The 9th Circuit upheld that ruling.

A call to an attorney for the tribe was not immediately returned.

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