Class Action Filed Against DOL

December 4, 2008

I was happy to hear that Attorney Robert Meyers filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of 127 alien workers. For years alien workers have routinely been cheated by employers.  The DOL system is an unjust system that puts the burden of recovering unpaid judgments on the victims. The bonding and insurance companies also neglected their lawful obligation to  pay the workers when the employers defaulted on the judgments. 

The lawsuit was filed against Labor Secretary Gil M. San Nicolas, Labor Deputy Secretary Cinta Kaipat and Labor Director Barry Hirshbein with 20 “Does” that are surety or bonding or insurance companies that issued statutory surety labor bonds to the employers of the guest workers according to the Marianas Variety

For decades the DOL has neglected to enforce their own  administrative orders and unpaid judgments resulting in thousands of workers being cheated, and hundreds of employers getting away with not paying what they owe the victims.  It is amazing that the CNMI Attorney's General Office and the U.S. Department of Justice have allowed the systematic rip off of thousands of alien workers to continue for decades! 

The article said:
According to Myers, Labor’s “refusal to enforce is in direct violation of the authority for the enforcement of the bond obligations that have been legislatively vested with [the Labor] director.”
Myers said the “unlawful scheme between Labor and sureties in the CNMI will result not in the delay of, but in the denial of justice.”

He added, “No one, except Labor and the sureties involved in the scheme to prevent collection and remittance of the proceeds of the labor bonds, benefits from such an unfair and prejudiced scheme.”
One year ago I was in the CNMI helping to collect the administrative orders and unpaid judgments.  By February 2008, $6.1 million in unpaid judgments had been collected.  I estimate the total figure to be closer to $24 million over the years.   I hope this lawsuit will finally result justice that is long-over due.