Denis Uvarov again asks federal court to intervene in his labor complaint

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DENIS Uvarov, a Russian Federation citizen who entered the island as a tourist, is again asking the District Court of the NMI to intervene in the labor complaint he filed against a security firm.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona last month dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction, and because it was written in Russian.

Moreover, she said the amount in dispute does not appear anywhere near the threshold amount of over $75,000 required for jurisdiction.

On Thursday, Uvarov filed the complaint in English and requested the court to award him $79,399 in damages.

Uvarov named Osman Gani, operator and owner of Saipan Security Services, as defendant.

Uvarov wants the court to issue an order finding Gani liable to pay the plaintiff compensation for the actual work that he did plus overtime.

Uvarov said the court should also find Gani liable for the plaintiff’s “suffering and harm to health” caused by Gani’s alleged illegal actions.

In his four-page complaint, Uvarov said he met Gani on Oct. 8, 2018.

Gani offered him a job as a security guard, which Uvarov said he accepted because he needed money as his application for asylum was still pending.

“I was forced to work illegally so…not to die of hunger and not live on the street,” the complaint stated. “I agreed to Mr. Gani's proposal. He promised me…$5 per hour (which is less than the [minimum wage rate of] $7.25 per hour, as I now know), and I was offered to begin work [on the following] day (without training and without an order to hire me as required by law. Without specifying the minimum necessary conditions for rest and work, as I now know). It was especially important for me to know when my work had to be paid — weekly or every two weeks of work. But I was afraid to ask this question,” Uvarov said.

He added that Gani would “usually…pick…me up to work and drop…me to home. Several times he gave me money for taxi. And a couple [of] times I paid by myself for the taxi to my house (which [was] not reimbursed and which was important in my difficult financial situation).”

Uvarov said on Oct. 24-25, 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu hit the island and he became homeless, but he continued to work for three more days for Gani. 

The plaintiff said he contacted Gani several times regarding the compensation Gani promised him.

Uvarov said Gani did not take any action, and the last time Uvarov reminded Gani about the plaintiff’s salary was on Dec. 10, 2018.

Two weeks later, Uvarov filed a complaint against Gani with the CNMI Department of Labor.

He said Gani owed Uvarov  unpaid wages totaling 166 hours, from Oct. 9, 2018 to Oct. 28, 2018. But CNMI DOL dismissed his complaint stating that Uvarov is not a U.S. citizen, a CNMI permanent resident, a foreign national worker or a worker possessing some other non-immigrant status.

Uvarov came to the CNMI as a tourist, CNMI DOL stated.

Uvarov filed an appeal, but it was denied by CNMI DOL.

According to Uvarov, CNMI DOL should consider him as an asylum-seeker, not a tourist.

The plaintiff said Gani’s actions have also completely demoralized him (Uvarov), “destroyed my spirit, put me in stress and uncertainty about my future. I lost my peace, developed insomnia and fears attacking my consciousness.”

Uvarov has likewise sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for personal injury, and demanded $80,000 in damages.

That lawsuit remains pending in federal court.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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