Imperial Pacific International (CNMI), LLC failed to satisfy the entire payroll last Friday but is expected to come up with the rest of its workers’ salaries sometime this week.
In a status report to the U.S. District Court for the NMI, IPI counsel Michael W. Dotts said there was a shortfall of $13,966.34 for the Feb. 26 payroll. Dotts said that IPI had a total net payroll of $83,860.55 but was only able to pay $69,894.21. The shortfall of $13,966.34 is being sent from Hong Kong and IPI is expected to receive it this Wednesday or Thursday. Dotts said that IPI’s next payday is March 12, 2021.
Fortunately, Dotts said, IPI employee’s housing still has power and food services is continuing without interruption.
IPI has experienced several instances of delays in releasing employee salaries in the past and the company only managed to clear its debt to current employees earlier this year after being found in contempt in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor. That lawsuit accused IPI executives of unlawfully requiring stranded employees to work without pay during the pandemic and failing to meet the workers’ basic necessities or provide for their return to their home countries.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, USDOL said that IPI executives should pay $788,022.54 to their employees and pay USDOL $1,379,426 in back wages owed under the judgment.
IPI then agreed to pay USDOL a total of $3,360,000 for back wages, liquidated damages, and civil monetary penalties.
As of Feb. 24, IPI was already up to date with payroll.
Commonwealth Casino Commission executive director Andrew Yeom informed the CCC commissioners at the board’s monthly meeting last Feb. 24 that IPI’s payroll delay has been resolved at the moment. He said that IPI paid the payrolls for Jan. 1, 2021 to Feb. 12, 2021.