USDOL: IPI violated consent judgement and FLSA

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CITING the recent protest of workers due to missed payrolls, the United States Department of Labor filed notice in federal court, stating that  Imperial Pacific International has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and the previous consent judgement issued by the court.

Charles Song, attorney for U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia,  said the   lawsuit of Pacific Rim Land Development LLC against IPI is related to the consent judgement entered by the court on April 11, 2019, “which enjoined IPI from violating the FLSA.”

According to the notice of related case, the consent judgment  provided for a payment plan totaling $3,360,000 including a December 2019 payment of $1,020,000.

IPI defaulted on its December 2019 payment, USDOL said.

On May 29, 2020, it added, IPI made a partial make-up payment of $250,000.

USDOL  noted the amended judgement entered against IPI in the Pacific Rim lawsuit in the amount of $6,909,333.43 on May 28.

On June 8, a writ of execution was issued to several banks.

According to IPI representations and public statements, the writ caused it to default on its obligations to IPI employees and miss its payroll, USDOL said.

“IPI’s employees recently held public protests regarding the missed payrolls,” USDOL added.

It requested the District Court for the NMI to ensure that “IPI is able to [also] comply with the court’s injunction requiring IPI to comply with the FLSA, including remedying missed payroll and meeting its payroll obligations going forward.”

IPI last year agreed to a consent judgment with the USDOL to settle and resolve the labor violations of construction contractors of the casino investor.

IPI also agreed to pay USDOL $3,360,000 for back wages, liquidated damages, and civil monetary penalties.

According to the consent judgment, the USDOL conducted Fair Labor Standards Act investigations on the casino construction project for the periods of January 22, 2016 to December 19, 2017.

USDOL said the investigation revealed labor violations by the construction contractors who failed to pay overtime and minimum wages as well as maintain records required by FLSA.

IPI had economic control over the casino construction project and its contractors and workers on the project, USDOL added.

The consent judgment prohibits IPI and its agents from violating the FLSA. It was signed by IPI Holdings chairwoman Cui Li Jie, her lawyer, Eugene R. Sullivan, and Boris Orlov, senior trial attorney for USDOL.

By agreeing to the consent judgment, IPI “will comply with the FLSA and shall amend their payroll practices and require all contractors to amend and maintain their payroll practices by paying all employees an hourly rate in compliance with minimum wage and overtime provision of the labor law.”

IPI and its contractors will also maintain records for inspection and upon request by USDOL whether unannounced or announced.

IPI will pay USDOL $1,580,000 for back wages, $1,580,000 for liquidated damages, and $200,000 for civil monetary penalties totaling $3,360,000.

On March 27, 2019, IPI paid the USDOL $300,000.

IPI is supposed to pay USDOL the remaining $3,060,000 in three payments of $1,020,000.

Upon the entry of the consent judgment, IPI will require all of its construction contractors to deposit with IPI or in an escrow account the amount of $100,000 or one-month payroll, whichever is more. The contractor must maintain the deposit throughout the duration of its work for IPI. The amount is to be made available to pay back wages to employees in the event of labor violations.

IPI will also hire an independent third-party to conduct contractor supervisor training as to the requirements of FLSA on an annual basis.

The District Court for the NMI will maintain jurisdiction over the consent judgment for the purpose of enforcing compliance with the consent judgment terms.





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