Imperial Pacific International is facing a federal court complaint over alleged sexual harassment and unfair employment practices against a former casino VIP hostess and “other similarly aggrieved female employees.”
Local news outlets Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune are both reporting that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed the complaint alleging IPI engaged in unlawful discrimination by subjecting the women to unwelcome physical and verbal sexual harassment by male patrons “which was sufficiently severe or pervasive to adversely affect the terms and conditions of their employment.”
According to the EEOC, the patrons in question were high rollers well known to IPI and who were “specifically targeted to generate business for IPI and given special attention by VIP service hosts.” It is alleged that the VIP hostesses in question were subjected to “unlawful retaliation by threatening to terminate those who engaged in protected activity; reduced their breaks, imposing additional work duties, and/or terminating constructively discharging them.”
IPI has been accused of engaging in sexual discrimination by “imposing different duties and assignments that women were forced to perform which men were not forced to perform as VIP service hosts.”
IPI, Best Sunshine International and IPI Holdings Limited have been named as defendants, along with a number of unspecified individuals alleged to be in some way responsible.
The complaint comes just a few days after IPI’s former developer, Pacific Rim Land Development LLC, also sued the company in federal court over alleged breach of construction contract and breach of promissory note.
Pacific Rim’s lawsuit alleges it was forced to stop work on the project because IPI refused to pay money owed for work completed on its Saipan integrated resort, Imperial Palace‧Saipan. It is seeking more than US$21 million in damages and costs due.
IPI is due to open the first six of 15 VIP suites or villas at Imperial Palace‧Saipan by next Monday 30 September, with Phase 1 of the project, the hotel, scheduled to open by the end of the year. A second hotel is expected to open by 30 June 2020, a VIP gaming and sky level by 30 September 2020 and a Beach Club by 31 December 2020.