As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on February 8, 2017
S. 63 would add tribes to the list of entities that are excluded from the definition of “employer” for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act. Through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of most private-sector employees to form a union and to bargain collectively. Adding tribes to the list of excluded employers would treat them similarly to state and local governments. Currently, the NLRB generally asserts jurisdiction over the commercial enterprises owned and operated by Indian tribes, even if they are located on a tribal reservation. However, the NLRB does not assert jurisdiction over tribal enterprises that carry out traditional tribal or governmental functions.
Enacting S. 63 would not significantly affect the workload of the NLRB, so it would have no effect on the federal budget. Because enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 63 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
H.R. 63 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
By excluding tribal enterprises located on tribal land from the definition of employer for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act, the bill would eliminate the right of employees of such enterprises to file a claim, individually or through a union, regarding certain labor practices. Currently, employees may file a claim against tribal employers over which the NLRB asserts jurisdiction alleging unfair labor practices under the act that prohibit or interfere with collective activities to improve wages and working conditions. By eliminating the right of employees to file such claims with the NLRB, the bill would impose a private-sector mandate.