Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance

Learn about compliance with tribal workforce laws.

Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance

The Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance requires all employers operating on or near reservations to give preference to qualified Native Americans for work, contracting or other business activities. Each federally recognized tribal nation is a unique sovereign government and each tribal nation operates its own TERO office with varying strategies and policies to protect the employment rights of their tribal workforce.

Tribal TERO offices work directly with contractors on a compliance plan that covers individual tribal workforce laws, policies, and TERO requirements. Compliance agreements/plans require approval from the TERO staff before work can begin. Usually, the signed compliance plan submitted to the Tribal TERO office ensures protection for the TERO workforce from job qualifications and requirements that create barriers for TERO workers, agreements from unions to comply with TERO, and to provide reasonable accommodation for cultural differences and beliefs. The compliance plan also covers penalties for violation of TERO laws that may include fines and sanctions.

WSDOT’s standard specification requires the contractor to contact the listed TERO officer prior to bidding and comply with any tribal laws or taxes that apply. The contractor is solely responsible for compliance with all tribal laws and the payment of all taxes and TERO fees associated with work performed where TERO applies.

Employers should

  • Submit a compliance plan detailing how they will follow TERO regulations
  • Ensure they are hiring the correct number of tribal members
  • Remove all barriers for job qualifications or criteria for tribal members
  • Make reasonable accommodations for tribal religious beliefs and cultural differences

14 fish passage projects were completed in 2020

improving access to 54.2 miles of upstream habitat.

11,959 incidents responded to

by WSDOT’s incident Response teams during second quarter of 2021, 15% more than same quarter in 2020.

41 Pre-existing Funds Projects Advertised

during the eighth quarter of the 2019-2021 biennium.