U.S. Department of Labor Secures $3.3 Million Judgment Against Saipan Casino Developer For Systemic Wage Violations by Contractors
SAIPAN, CNMI – The U.S. Department of Labor has secured a $3,360,000 consent judgment against the developer of the Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel and Casino in Garapan, Saipan, for minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by contractors working on the construction project.
Entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, the judgment orders Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific International Holdings, and its Saipan subsidiary Imperial Pacific International (CNMI), to pay $3,160,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to approximately 1,100 employees. The developer must also pay $200,000 in civil money penalties.
The settlement follows an investigation by the Department's Wage and Hour Division that found wage violations occurred when foreign-based construction subcontractors failed to pay their workforce required overtime premium rates for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Investigators also found some of the subcontractors' day rates placed employees' earnings below federal minimum wage.
"This judgment demonstrates the U.S. Department of Labor's strong commitment to ensuring employees receive the wages they have earned," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu, Hawaii. "We will continue to enforce the law and level the playing field, while simultaneously encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance, and use the wide variety of tools we provide. Violations like those found in this investigation can be avoided."
The Department's Office of the Solicitor litigated this case.
"In addition to providing $3,360,000 in unpaid wages, liquidated damages, and penalties, this judgment orders the defendants to adhere to an independent monitoring mechanism, and to take additional steps to safeguard the wages and working conditions of employees," said Regional Solicitor Janet Herold in San Francisco. "Regardless of where work is performed in the U.S. or its territories, the U.S. Department of Labor will continue to fully and fairly enforce the law and provide a level playing field for employers."
To date, the Department has found approximately $17.3 million for more than 2,500 employees working on the Saipan hotel and casino project.
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.