Imperial Palace Saipan Ordered to Compensate Former Workers
Imperial Pacific International has been ordered to pay the former workers of the Saipan casino due to a dangerous work environment.
As an employee, you expect a certain type of environment on the job. If your employer does not meet certain standards or you feel unsafe, you speak up. For the most part, an employer will make changes to ensure that everyone is comfortable and safe. However, for Imperial Pacific International, it seems that the work environment for the Imperial Palace Casino in Saipan was not safe and former workers are now going to be paid millions due to negligence.
Pay Up $5.43 Million
This week, Chief Judge Ramona Manglona ruled in favor of seven former employees of the casino resort. In the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, the judge ruled that Imperial Pacific continued to fail to comply with orders by the court to exchange information connected to the plaintiff’s lawsuit.
The employees who worked at the property said that they had to work long hours to construct the large resort and the conditions were dangerous. The employees stated they were threatened with death and deportation if they did not continue working.
The casino operator is accused of denying medical care for employees who were injured and paying them less than what is legally required. The payment was also not in line with what had been agreed upon when taking on the job.
The company has been ordered to pay $5.43 million for seven individuals named in the case. This is equal to about $775,000 for each person. While the money will be put to good use, the plaintiffs say that there is no amount of compensation that will take away the psychological trauma and injuries sustained while on the job.
Wang Tianmeng is one former employee who was severely injured on the job. He suffered burns on his lower left leg when he was cutting metal. A spark flew off and ignited, landing on his leg. He was not allowed to seek medical attention and was given gauze to deal with the burn.
The employee now has trouble walking for more than 15 minutes at a time. A medical doctor was on hand during the trial and testified that if the injury had been treated properly, then Wang would not have to deal with the lasting side effects.
Earlier Legal Trouble
The Saipan resort has been the subject of legal drama for quite some time. Back in 2017, the FBI raided the construction site of the property due to an individual working on the project falling to their death. When the raid took place, many of the contractors ran away and thousands of unpaid workers were left behind as they were there on visas.
The employees from China were paid a recruitment fee to travel to the area to take part in the project. Recruiters offered good wages and living quarters in exchange for help with the casino build. Four construction firms were hired to build he resort but then refused to pay the wages and demanded the employees work longer hours to finish up. They then threatened those working if they did not do as they said.
Just one year later, in 2018, officials in the United States ordered the firms to pay 2,400 employees back pay and damages. This amounted to $14 million.
The casino’s parent company also has yet to pay its $15.5 million license fee that is due annually. It also has yet to pay regulatory charges of $3.1 million. There is also a $20 million amount due for 2018 and 2019 when money was not added to the Community Benefit Fund. The operator is in major hot water and it does not see like they will be cooling off any time soon.