Saipan casino investor ordered to pay $3M

(Photo from the Pacific Island Times)

CNMI – The Northern Mariana District Court has ordered Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. and its subsidiary, Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) to pay the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) around $3.36 million for workers’ back wages and other penalties.

The USDOL filed a lawsuit against the Hong Kong-based company for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The payment is part of the consent judgement issued on the case.

Under the consent judgement, the court appointed the Department of Labor to allocate and distribute the court award to former construction employees hired by the company contractors to build the Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel and Casino in Garapan.

The company already gave the labor department an initial payment of $300,000 on March 27. The rest of the judgment award will be paid in three consecutive years, at installments of $1.2 million annually. The payments will start on Dec.1, 2019 and end on 2021.

Working conditions at the project site will also be regularly monitored as part of the consent judgment.

According to a report from the Pacific Island Times, the court has appointed Burger Comer & Magliari Certified Public Accountants as the independent monitor tasked to “inspect all of the physical facilities and working conditions of the worksite; inspect all books, records, and documents including employee time, payroll and personnel records.”

Two years ago, the FBI raided the company  after contractors were found to have hired Chinese tourists to work at the construction site. Contractors were also fined around $193,750 for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act related to a death and multiple injuries suffered by workers at the construction site.

The company has yet to complete the Imperial Palace, a 14-story luxury resort with 350 rooms and over 200 gaming tables and more than 350 slot machines.