Sexual harassment lawsuits are rampant and Saipan’s Imperial Pacific International is feeling the effects. A US federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claims in a lawsuit not only sexual harassment but sex discrimination.
The offense pertains to female VIP service hosts. IPI is accused of subjecting female employees to sexual harassment, other sex-based discrimination and retaliation.
The harassment goes back to 2015, in the Best Sunshine Live “temporary” casino located at one time in a Saipan shopping mall.
Inappropriate actions on the job
Shirlene Loh and other female hosts were subjected to inappropriate actions by high-rolling male patrons. They felt it became a hostile work environment.
The women were asked to perform duties not assigned to the male employees. Indeed, they had to wear bikinis and swim with the VIPs.
IPI’s Executive Director, Yuki Yu Xia, was responsible for the inappropriate orders. The women even had to accompany the men to their villas…you know the rest.
Repeated sexual advances were offensive and unwelcome. If the hosts complained, they received prompt retaliation in the form of reduced hours, additional duties and even termination.
The EEOC takes action
As part of the lawsuit, the EEOC invited IPI to discuss informal methods of conciliation to endeavor to eliminate the discriminatory practices and provide appropriate relief.
Then, the EEOC issued IPI a notice of failure of conciliation. It is now seeking monetary damages for the claimants and injunctive relief intended to prevent future discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
The fallout is negative for IPI. It is adding fuel to the existing fire of unpaid gambling debts. They amount to hundreds of millions of dollars from the pampered VIPs.