Construction Program Guide
Indian Employment Preference on Federal-aid Projects
For a Federal-aid highway project, a State Transportation Agency (STA) may implement procedures or requirements which extend preferential employment to all Indians. Recruiting efforts may be targeted toward those living on or near a reservation or Indian lands. Indian preference shall be applied without regard to tribal affiliation or place of enrollment.
Indians previously hired by a contractor shall be included as part of the contractor's core-crew. In no instance should a contractor be compelled to layoff or terminate a core-crew employee (regardless of Indian or non-Indian status) to meet a preference goal.
Projects eligible for Indian employment preference are those located on roads within, or providing access to an Indian reservation or other Indian lands (as defined under the term "Indian reservation roads" in 23 USC 101(a)(12)), and projects located on roads that are "near" the boundaries of reservations. Roads "near" an Indian reservation are defined as those within a reasonable commuting distance from the reservation.
- 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(12) Definitions and declaration of policy - Interstate System (12/04/2015)
- 23 U.S.C. 140 Nondiscrimination (2012)
- 23 CFR 635.117 Labor and employment (04/01/2018)
- Indian Employment Preference 23 U.S.C. 140(d) (09/20/1994)
- Implementation of an Indian hiring preference is at the State's discretion;
- Decision of which roads are "near" Indian lands is subject to State discretion and negotiation with the tribe; and
- Indian employment preference does not apply to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program
- Indian Preference in Employment of Federal-aid Highway Projects on and near Indian Reservations (N 4720.7) (03/15/1993)
- Section 122 STURAA of 1987 - Indian Employment Preference (05/08/1987)
- Federal-Aid Projects Within Indian Reservations (02/18/1988)