Tribal Law Specialty Team

In today’s rapidly changing legal landscape, the Tribal Nations confront special issues when they employ Tribal and non-Tribal citizens in commercial enterprises on or off Tribal land, when they operate health care clinics, and when they provide employee benefit plans to their Tribal citizens and to casino employees. These special issues include:

  • Tribal sovereignty
  • Application of federal laws on Tribal land & treaty exclusions
  • Application of ERISA & HIPAA
  • Tribal standing to act for the BIA to improve the health of Tribal citizens
  • Application of the Affordable Care Act mandates
  • Compacts between a state and a Tribal Nation
  • Application of state discrimination laws on Tribal land or to Tribal citizens
  • Authority of Tribal Courts

In Butzel Long’s Labor and Employment Group, seasoned team members bring their collective wisdom and experience with Tribal Nation matters to bear on these special issues. We offer seasoned and practical solutions to our diverse Tribal Nation clients. We also stay abreast of the rapidly changing legal landscape. In recent years the US Supreme Court has granted leave at an accelerated pace in cases involving Tribal sovereignty issues. Our team members thus also include employee benefits litigators familiar with the Tribal Nations’ sovereignty concerns and special responsibilities and rights.

Our team members draft new employee benefit health care plans and retirement plans for Tribal Nations and for their casinos. We also update Tribal Nation plan documents (including prototype retirement plans and their adoption agreements) to keep them current with ever-changing federal regulations. We proactively review service provider agreements and third-party administrator agreements that the Tribes may wish to sign to address issues unique to Tribal Nations and to reduce litigation risk. We draft QMSCO procedures for Tribal Nations as required by federal law. We scrutinize the Business Associate Agreements of Tribal Nations for compliance with HIPAA and in light of the increased cybersecurity requirements under federal and state laws, in conjunction (where needed) with members of Butzel Long’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Specialty Team.

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