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Indian Tribe Did Not Waive Sovereign Immunity By Removing Lawsuit To Federal Court

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians is a federally-recognized Indian tribe located on the Shingle Springs Rancheria in California. Beth A. Bodi, a member of the tribe, worked at the tribe's full-service health clinic. Bodi's employment was terminated after she attempted to take job-protected leaved under the federal Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). Although she was rehired, she was fired again after sending a communication to tribal officials complaining about her earlier termination and noting her willingness to seek redress in state court. Bodi subsequently filed suit under the FMLA and state law in California state court, and the tribe removed the action to federal court based upon the federal question presented by the FMLA claim. The tribe then filed a motion to dismiss based upon the tribe's sovereign immunity. The district court denied the motion on the ground that the tribe had waived its immunity by removing the action to federal court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the tribe did not waive its immunity by removing the case to federal court.

Bodi v. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, 2016 WL 4183518 (9th Cir. 2016)

© 2022 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 257
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About this Author

Anthony J Oncidi, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Partner

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection....

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