Labor gives IPI suspended fine


The CNMI Department of Labor’s Enforcement Division sanctioned Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC with a suspended fine of $1,000 for the late submission of its quarterly total workforce listing. IPI was supposed to submit its fourth quarter 2016 listing on or before Jan. 31.

The sanction is suspended, however, for one year and would be extinguished, so long as IPI no longer violates CNMI Labor regulations.

According to Labor’s Enforcement Division, IPI failed to submit its quarterly employee listing as required in the CNMI law.

During the hearing, IPI lawyer Kelley Butcher said the delay was an oversight due to the holiday season and “illnesses at the workforce rather than a deliberate attempt by employer to circumvent the law.”

IPI submitted the workforce listing on March 10, a week after being served with the notice of hearing. The Enforcement Division then confirmed that they received the listing on the same day IPI submitted it.

At the enforcement hearing, James Ulloa represented Labor’s Enforcement Division while Bertha Leon Guerrero (vice president for human relations) and Butcher (legal counsel) represented IPI, with hearing officer Jerry Cody presiding.

Cody still found IPI in violation of the regulation when it failed to submit the list on time even though they realized that it was already overdue. The division then asked that IPI be fined the maximum penalty of $2,000 for each violation.

The Enforcement Division, however, recommended to Cody to give IPI a suspended sanction in order to give them an opportunity to “demonstrate good faith compliance.” The entire sanction is suspended for a one-year period and would then be extinguished, provided IPI would no longer violate CNMI Labor regulations and other statutes in that period.

The suspended fine of $1,000 would be reinstated if IPI fails to comply with the terms of the order or if they would commit other reporting violations. Additional monetary sanctions that would go through due process would be imposed on IPI if warranted.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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