Tribal Employment Rights Office, TERO


The Pawnee Nation Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO), by virtue of a contractual agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is authorized to interview and counsel individuals with potential employment discrimination charges. The TERO employees address draft charges of alleged violations of Title VII, file complaints with the EEOC and attempt to resolve the charge by mediation within 30 days. TERO representatives also negotiate written Indian preference agreements with employers/contractors operating on the jurisdiction of the Pawnee Nation, continue the development of public awareness of the complaint resolution process under appropriate ordinances and offer protection against employment discrimination. The TERO agents also continue to provide a point of contact between employers operating on or near the Pawnee Nation and Pawnee Nation residents.

Attention: TERO workers "Roll Call" we need to update contact information for upcoming job announcements and work projects. 

TERO Ordinance
Click here for document. 

TERO Question and Answers, Click here.

TERO Employment and Training Application
Click here to download. 

Feel free to stop by and visit the TERO offices should you have questions about TERO or EEOC. We also have applications if you want to be placed in the TERO Labor Pool.

Laura Melton, Interim Tero Director
Building 64, Room 204
918-762-3621 Ext. 123
Cell: 918-399-5107
Fax: 918-762-6446

Matthew Bellendir, Client Services Coordinator
Building 64, Room 206-207
918-762-3621 Ext. 124



TERO and EEOC Work Together

“Pursuant to its mission to eliminate unlawful employment discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will fund a program for Tribes with Tribal Employment Rights Offices (TEROs) to maximize employment opportunities and to protect the Title VII and special preference rights of Indians. Funds provided by the EEOC under contract with each TERO will support the objectives and requirements of the TERO Program to identify, remedy, and eliminate unlawful employment discrimination occurring on or near the reservation”.    (Section I of EEOC – TERO Contract).

The Tribal Employment Rights Office and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission work together to eliminate unlawful employment discrimination. In order to receive funding from the EEOC office, a Tribal Nation must have an active TERO program.

The accounting databases of the Pawnee Nation show that financial transactions for its TERO program began in 1998 and financial activity for the EEOC contract began in 2001. Since those dates the Pawnee Nation has had an active TERO and EEOC program.

The EEOC supports the work of a TERO office by providing an annual award of $26,000 and the grant is utilized for the TERO director and a compliance officer, as well as for training, supplies or other items that may be needed by the TERO office. By accepting an EEOC award, the Pawnee Nation agrees not to take indirect cost from the grant.

The tribal TERO office is responsible to the EEOC contract by providing quarterly reports; educating about EEOC and TERO rights and obligations under tribal ordinances and Title VII; providing training and skill development of clients; referrals for employment; among numerous other responsibilities.  

The tribal TERO office is funded by the Pawnee Nation; this budget also funds the TERO director or other staff as needed and is reviewed and updated each year during the annual budget call. Funding for the tribal TERO office comes from tribal funds, revenue generated from work done by the TERO labor pool such as small house repair and appliance installations, fees paid by construction companies that are working within tribal lands; and fees paid by the Pawnee Tribal Development Corporation.

The Tribal TERO Ordinance states the Purpose of the TERO Act:

Section 1 (b) Purpose:

The purpose of the Pawnee Nation Tribal Employment Rights Act is to assist in and require the fair employment of Indians, to create employment and training opportunities  for members of the   Pawnee Nation and other Indians, and to prevent discrimination against Indians in the employment practices of employers who are conducting business within the territorial jurisdiction of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma as defined by Section 03 (t) herein.

Section 3 (t)

 “Territorial jurisdiction” means the property held in trust by the United States of America on behalf of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma; property owned in fee by the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma; restricted and trust allotments; and dependent Indian communities. The territorial jurisdiction of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma shall also extend to all property located outside said boundaries owned in fee by the Pawnee Nation or held in trust by the United States on behalf of the Pawnee Nation.