GM 12-131

Department of Labor Publishes Tribal Consultation Policy

On December 4, 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) published the attached Tribal Consultation Policy (Policy). The Policy was released in draft form on April 18, 2012 (see our General Memorandum 12-055 of April 27, 2012).

The introduction lists various Executive Orders, Memoranda and federal statutes as the foundation for the Policy, including the use of a definition of Indian tribes which includes Alaska Native Corporations as receiving the same treatment under the Policy as “other federally recognized tribes.”

Under the Policy, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement, working in conjunction with other DOL offices (Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the Secretary) will coordinate the Tribal Consultation Policy. Each DOL operating agency will designate a senior official with primary responsibility for tribal matters. The Policy addresses a number of activities including ways the DOL will undertake proactive and ongoing consultation. Among other things it describes the activities that would trigger consultation, the handling of tribal requests for waivers or administrative discretion, the reporting on outcomes to tribes, and the use of tribal committees. Regional DOL policies will be reviewed and revised if necessary to be consistent with the Policy. The Policy clarifies that a federally recognized tribe may delegate a third party to represent it in tribal consultations with DOL.

The Department of Labor administers a number of programs affecting tribes, notably those in the Employment and Training Administration. Other entities within the DOL which have interactions with tribes include the Women’s Bureau, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the Department of Labor’s Tribal Consultation Policy.