A security guard filed on Friday a discrimination lawsuit in federal court against poker operators for allegedly terminating him from his job because of complaints he made to the U.S. Department of Labor for illegal deductions on his wages.
Edward Iriarte, through counsel Colin Thompson, is suing D.K.K. Inc., owner of Dollar Poker II, and its principals Hong Kyun Kim and Kyoun Min Oh, for retaliation and discrimination based on race and national origin.
Iriarte asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to order the defendants to pay him an unspecified amount of back pay with prejudgment interest, front pay, compensation, damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs.
Thompson stated in the complaint that on May 28, 2013, Iriarte went to U.S. Labor to notify it that the defendants were making illegal deductions on employees’ wages, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Thompson said the U.S. Labor-Wage and Hour Division opened an investigation into the defendants’ business practice of making illegal deductions from employees’ payroll.
In May 2013, Iriarte began hearing co-workers talking about the appearance of U.S. Labor investigators in the work place.
At the end of May 2013, Iriarte and his wife went to pick up his paycheck. Thompson said that Joo Ho Joon, general manager of D.K.K., asked the Iriarte couple why they complained to U.S. Labor.
On June 13, 2013, Iriarte was terminated from his job. Kim allegedly told Iriarte that he was terminated for his many complaints, together with his wife, Thompson said.
Iriarte allegedly asked to be rehired but the company refused.
At a meeting on Aug. 12, 2013, Thompson said that general manager Joo told Iriarte that he was terminated because the company did not want more problems and complaints.
The company then paid the Iriarte couple for the reimbursement of the illegal deductions made between June 2011 and June 2013.
Thompson said that D.K.K.’s management team is predominantly Korean and the company favors Korean employees.
Thompson alleged that defendants discriminated against Iriarte, a Chamorro, by paying him less, providing him fewer benefits, fewer working hours, and less respect than non-Chamorros.