Tourist sues CNMI DOL in federal court

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A Russian tourist has filed a suit against the CNMI Department of Labor with the U.S. District Court for the NMI to ask the court to intervene in a labor complaint he filed that the CNMI Department of Labor later dismissed.

Denis Uvarov, a Russian citizen, said he is seeking compensation for unpaid wages and liquidated damages equal to the amount of unpaid wages.

In his lawsuit, Uvarov also named Gani Osman, the operator and owner of Saipan Security Services.

Along with the lawsuit he filed last Thursday, Uvarov attached a copy of the final decision issued by CNMI DOL dated Sept. 17 regarding his complaint against Osman for unpaid wages totaling 166 hours from Oct. 9, 2018, to Oct. 28, 2018.

According to the attached decision, CNMI DOL dismissed his appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

CNMI DOL also noted in the order that Uvarov is neither a U.S. citizen, a CNMI permanent resident, a foreign national worker, nor a worker possessing some other non-immigrant status.

Uvarov came to the CNMI as a tourist.

In his labor complaint, Uvarov was represented by attorney Pamela Blackburn, but CNMI DOL said that Blackburn filed an untimely notice of withdrawal of counsel five minutes prior to the start of the hearing.

Uvarov appealed the Sept. 3 CNMI DOL decision, saying there was a lack of due process because he was not given a chance to look for another attorney or an interpreter. However, CNMI Labor Secretary Vicky I. Benavente affirmed the dismissal of Uvarov’s claims in a final agency decision. She said claims for tourists are pursued in the Superior Court. Moreover, she said, Uvarov was provided due process but he mistakes his counsel’s mishandling of the case for a lack of due process.

“Appellant, through his attorney, was served with adequate notice of hearing. There is no showing that a request for an interpreter was denied,” she said.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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