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IN EEOC SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT

IPI to pay $105K to settle case

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Posted on Apr 29 2021

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Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has agreed to pay $105,000 to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed against it in September 2019.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona approved the consent decree governing the settlement payment last Tuesday, April 27.

According to an EEOC notice of entry of consent decree, EEOC alleged that IPI subjected some female employees to “unwelcome physical and verbal sexual conduct by male patrons and engaged in sex discrimination” when they imposed extra work duties upon these female employees. EEOC said this is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

One of the casino’s VIP hostess had complained to EEOC that she faced unwanted advances and comments from male patrons and that, when she complained to her supervisors, her complaint was ignored and that she was ultimately forced to resign from her job because IPI did not do anything about her complaint.

To resolve the lawsuit, IPI and EEOC entered into a consent decree, which requires IPI and other unnamed defendants to satisfy the following conditions:

Provide monetary relief to the employees who experienced sexual harassment and sex discrimination.

Forbid sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and retaliation in the future.

Review, revise, and redistribute its [company] policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation.

Hire an external EEO monitor and designate an in-house EEO coordinator.

Provide training to management and employees regarding harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex and retaliation.

Although the casino is closed right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the consent decree requires IPI to hire an EEO coordinator once casino operations resume to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“IPI et al. are committed to complying with federal anti-harassment and anti-retaliation laws in all respects. They will not tolerate harassment and will not tolerate retaliation against any employee because of the filing of a charge of discrimination, giving testimony or assistance, or participation in any manner in any investigation,” said EEOC.

The consent decree was also signed by IPI chief executive officer Ray Yumul, attorney Stephen Nutting, who represented IPI in the lawsuit, and EEOC attorney Anna Y. Park.

According to the consent decree, IPI secured the settlement amount with 16 parcels of its Flame Tree Terrace apartments in As Mahetog as collateral.

Saipan Tribune archives state that the EEOC sued IPI in September 2019 for alleged sexual harassment and unfair employment practices on behalf of a VIP hostess and other similarly aggrieved female employees. IPI had denied all the allegations and asked the court to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.

Two weeks ago, the parties told the court that they had reached a settlement agreement.

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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