EEOC lawyer cancels Saipan travel in lawsuit vs IPI


The Honolulu-based lawyer of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has canceled a scheduled travel to Saipan for a conference in connection with the agency’s sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuit against Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC and Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited.

Eric Yau and IPI counsel Kelley Butcher instead jointly asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI on Monday to hold the case management conference via telephone.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted the request and pushed through with the case management conference that was set last Tuesday.

In the parties’ request, Yau cited the imposition of 14-day self-isolation for all arriving passengers on Saipan as the reason for the cancellation of his scheduled travel to Saipan, saying he can no longer personally appear for the case management conference as planned.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced the self-isolation rule last Sunday in response to discovery of coronavirus cases in Guam.

Yau said he discussed this contingency with Butcher and that both of them jointly asked the district court to appear via telephone at the conference.

Yau and Butcher cited Torres’ Facebook messages last Sunday in which the governor stated that they will be asking individuals, regardless of travel history, who were off-island for work or travel, to self-quarantine themselves for at least 14 days.

Torres also stated that they will be working with department heads and private sector partners in implementing this immediately.

Last Monday, Manglona issued an order limiting access to the courthouse and reducing court’s operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

EEOC is suing IPI for allegedly subjecting some female VIP service hosts to unwelcome physical and verbal sexual harassment by IPI casino’s male patrons known as high rollers. IPI has denied the allegations.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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