Scalia v. Red Lake Nation Fisheries, Inc., No. 19-3373 (8th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
After the Fishery received two citations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the OSHA Commission dismissed them. The citation stemmed from an incident where a Fishery boat capsized on the reservation in Lower Red Lake and two employees drowned.
The Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that EEOC v. Fond du Lac Heavy Equip. & Constr. Co., 986 F.2d 246, 248 (8th Cir. 1993), was controlling here. The court concluded that OSHA was inapplicable to the Tribe because enforcement of the Act would dilute the principles of tribal sovereignty and self-government recognized in the applicable treaty which gave the Tribe fishing rights in the reservation. Even if OSHA applied to Indian activities in other circumstances, OSHA does not apply to an enterprise owned by and consisting solely of members of perhaps the most insular and independent sovereign tribe.