Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance program
The American Indian Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance is a tribally based employment rights initiative. The program seeks to maximize American Indian opportunities by the establishment of an employment preference ordinance and contract compliance program for private contractors who may have construction projects on or near a reservation. More than 300 Indian Tribes and Alaska Native-village governments nationwide have established TERO offices. TERO is a sovereignty based employment rights program that provides American Indian preference in employment, training and sub-contacting on projects on the reservation. Tribal governments establish provisions that require the compliance of private highway contractors, unions and other stakeholders. Legal authority for TERO includes Tribal Law, Federal Employment Law (Indian Preference/EEO/Affirmative Action) and Contract Law.
Tribal commission, director and support staff that implement, maintain and enforce employment and labor requirements. Special contract provisions help private highway contractors meet their employment and contracting responsibilities for projects on the reservation.
TERO directors and staff also provide highway contractors with an available applicant skills bank for employee recruitment, referrals and hiring. In addition, the program provides applicants with job counseling, coaching, supportive services, complaint investigation and highway construction career information. It is noted that six of the eleven Minnesota American Indian Tribes have TERO programs and enforce the ordinance.
MnDOT's Office of Civil Rights works collaboratively with Tribal Governments, private highway contractors and other stakeholders to maximize employment opportunities for American Indians.