U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia notified the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday that the lawsuit filed by Pacific Rim Land Development LLC against Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC is related to the court’s consent judgment entered last year in the U.S. Labor’s case against IPI.
Scalia, through counsel Charles C. Song of the Office of the Solicitor, requested the court that any ruling the court enters in the Pacific Rim matter ensures IPI is able to comply with the court’s April 11, 2019, injunction requiring IPI to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, including remedying missed payroll and meeting its payroll obligations going forward.
Song said that in the U.S. Labor Secretary’s lawsuit against IPI, the court entered the consent judgment on April 11, 2019, which barred IPI from violating the FLSA.
Song said the consent judgment also provided for a payment plan totaling $3,360,000, including a Dec. 1, 2019, payment of $1,020,000.
The lawyer said IPI defaulted on its December 2019 payment but made a partial payment of $250,000 to the U.S. Department of Labor on May 20, 2020.
In Pacific Rim’s lawsuit against IPI, the court entered an amended judgment in the amount of $6,909,333 on May 28, 2020. On June 8, 2020, the court issued a writ of execution to several banks on Saipan in connection with Pacific Rim’s lawsuit.
According to IPI’s representations and public statements, these writs caused IPI to default on its obligations to pay its employees and miss its payroll. IPI employees recently held public protests regarding the missed payroll.
Song said IPI has violated the FLSA and the court’s injunction by failing to pay its employees in accordance with the FLSA and missing payroll.
IPI has been placed on independent monitoring in connection with then-U.S. Labor secretary R. Alexander Acosta’s lawsuit in federal court against IPI for alleged violations of the FLSA over the construction of its casino/resort project in Garapan.
To resolve the lawsuit, IPI and Acosta agreed to an entry of a consent judgment. IPI agreed to pay a total of $3.36 million, which is composed of $1.58 million in backwages, another $1.58 million in liquidated damages, and $200,000 in civil penalties.