3 ex-employees to settle lawsuit vs. supermarket

Posted on May 05 2022


Three employees who accused a supermarket in San Antonio last year of labor violations and trafficking have reached a settlement agreement in the case.

The complainants, through their lawyers, Joseph Horey and Michael Dotts, told the U.S District Court for the NMI last Tuesday that they will soon be asking the court to dismiss their lawsuit as part of the settlement.

“The settlement agreement provides for the parties to file a stipulated dismissal of this action upon the occurrence of a condition, which condition they have agreed will occur on or before May 22, 2022,” Horey said. “The settlement agreement also calls for the court to maintain jurisdiction of this matter in order to enforce the terms of the agreement.”

According to Saipan Tribune archives, Md. Ashiquzzaman, Mir Fozle Mehedi, and Md. Sazedul Islam sued Mir Corp. (doing business as Toha Supermarket) last September for allegedly failing to pay them the wages they were promised and for allegedly confiscating their passports so they couldn’t work anywhere else.

Ashiquzzaman was employed at Toha Supermarket as a butcher from July 2016 to December 2018. Mehedi was employed as a maintenance worker and farmer from September 2016 to June 2017. Islam was employed doing a variety of jobs from 2015 to March 2021.

They allege that Mir Corp. paid them at a rate of less than $6.05 per hour, which is significantly lower than the current minimum wage and lower than promised in their CNMI-Only CW-1 visa petition. 

As for the trafficking allegations, the plaintiffs allege that Mir Corp. “confiscated their passports in an “attempt to prevent or restrict…plaintiffs’ liberty to move or travel in order to maintain their labor services.” 

Mir Corp. also allegedly collected recruitment fees from them in the amount of at least $10,000 upon the representation that they would work in good jobs and earn salaries of up to $2,000 per month and obtain permanent residency.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.

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