IPI settles discrimination lawsuit filed by ex-table games supervisor

lmperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has settled the discrimination lawsuit filed by its former table games supervisor who claimed he has a physical disability and alleged that the company did not act on his complaint of having difficulty standing and walking for long periods of time.

At a settlement conference hearing yesterday afternoon, U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy disclosed that Imperial Pacific and Dennis Campbell, through their counsel, have been in settlement talks in the last several days with her (Kennedy) assistance.

According to the minutes of the conference, Kennedy stated that the parties have come to terms and entered into a settlement agreement.

The parties are expected to drop the case before June 21. If not, a status conference will be held on June 21 at 9am, Kennedy said.

Should the stipulation be filed before June 21, the hearing will be vacated.

Jeanne H. Rayphand, counsel for Campbell, stated they have reached settlement on all the terms and that they only have to work on typos.

Kelley Butcher, counsel for Imperial Pacific, confirmed the settlement.

Campbell, through Rayphand of the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc., is suing Imperial Pacific for violation of the American with Disabilities Act.

In his lawsuit, Campbell asked the court to issue a judgment declaring that Imperial Pacific discriminated against him on the basis of disability by failing to provide reasonable accommodation and failing to engage in an interactive process as required by ADA.

Campbell requested the court to declare that such defendant’s failure constituted his constructive termination from the job.

He asked the court to find Imperial Pacific liable to pay him back pay plus interest, damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Campbell asked the court to stop IPI from further discriminatory practices.

According to the complaint, when Campbell told his supervisor that he was having difficulty standing and walking for long periods of time, the management informed him that the Family and Medical Leave Act would be his best course of action.

Rayphand said the management took no action to identify a reasonable accommodation or to engage in an interactive process to determine whether a reasonable accommodation could be provided.

Rayphand said that Campbell was compelled to resign on June 3, 2016.

Imperial Pacific has denied the allegations.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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