IPI wants wrongful termination suit dismissed

Posted on May 03 2022


Imperial Pacific LLC has asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to dismiss the wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit filed against it by a former employee.

IPI, through its lawyer, Joey San Nicolas, denied the claims made by Rongkun Xiao and asked that the claims “be dismissed with prejudice and that [Xiao] take nothing from [IPI].

Xiao is suing IPI for alleged wrongful termination and retaliation under the American Disabilities Act. He filed the lawsuit back in February.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, Xiao, who was a construction engineer at IPI, claimed that a site severely injured his spine in November 2018, causing paralysis. He suffered a permanent disability and now relies on a wheelchair for mobility.” Even with this, “Xiao remained willing and able to perform the essential functions of his job with IPI. In January 2020, Xiao requested accommodation from IPI based on the recommendation of his doctors, but IPI allegedly refused to provide any accommodation,” according to his lawyer, Collin Thompson.

Instead, Thompson said, “IPI retaliated against Xiao because of his disability by offering him a take-it-or-leave-it demotion. The demotion included a reduced salary to less than half his previous pay. Xiao did not accept IPI’s proposal. IPI then targeted Xiao for termination.”

Then, on March 30, 2020, Xiao alleges that “in retaliation for his requested accommodation and/or because of his disability, IPI placed him on furlough, then hired an “able-bodied” person to take his job.”

Xiao asked the court for a jury trial in his complaint and is seeking full back pay, benefits, and reinstatement to a position he would have obtained in the absence of discrimination or, in the alternative, front pay.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.

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