IPI, IPI Holdings deny engaging in illegal employment methods


Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC and Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited have denied any allegation or inference by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that they have engaged in unlawful employment practices.

In IPI’s and IPI Holdings’ answer Tuesday to EEOC’s lawsuit against them, they also asserted that EEOC did not engage in good faith conciliation or otherwise satisfied the statutory conciliation prerequisite prior to filing the lawsuit against them.

IPI and IPI Holdings, through counsel Kelley M. Butcher, argued that the U.S. District Court for the NMI lacks jurisdiction over the matter and over IPI Holdings.

Butcher said EEOC failed to comply with all of the statutory prerequisites applicable to this lawsuit and that it failed to exhaust all applicable administrative procedure before filing the lawsuit.

Among EEOC’s many allegations, she said that IPI and IPI Holdings only admit that Yuki Yu Xia was associated with the management of the VIP services.

The lawyer said IPI and IPI Holdings deny all other assertions and inferences alleged or implied in that allegations with respect to Xia.

In its lawsuit, EEOC said that, in supervising and directing Best Sunshine’s employees, Xia also held herself out as possessing the ability to control work assignments and termination when she requested VIP Services hosts to work past normal hours and provided briefings about guests in team meetings and threatened to terminate those who could not perform assigned duties in a staff meeting that she called.

Butcher asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety and allow IPI and IPI Holdings to recover the court costs and attorney’s fees they incurred in this case.

The EEOC filed the sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuit against IPI and IPI Holdings last September for allegedly subjecting some female VIP service hosts to unwelcome physical and verbal sexual harassment by IPI casino’s male patrons, otherwise known as high rollers.

The EEOC, through its regional attorney, Anna Y. Park, alleged that the hostile work environment became intolerable and caused many of the claimants to be discharged.

Park said the defendants imposed VIP service host duties and assignments on women that were not similarly imposed on men—thus engaging in sex discrimination in its terms and conditions of employment.

EEOC asked the court to issue a permanent injunction enjoining IPI and their officers from engaging in sexual harassment, retaliation, and any other employment practice that discriminates on the basis of sex.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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