Ladera Violates DOL Order

December 30, 2009

The Ladera International School of Saipan (LISS), which has had two major lawsuits filed against it this year, is now in the news for noncompliance of a labor order. The Marianas Variety reports:

Ladera had until Nov. 27, 2009 to pay its former “dorm manager” Yang Kyu Shin, a.k.a. Brendon, $5,394.21 in unpaid wages, both regular and overtime, and improperly withheld tax.
“A failure to timely pay the amount awarded…shall cause [Labor] to invoke a denial of any now pending or later submitted employment applications by [ILC Corp.] for employment of foreign national workers in the commonwealth,” stated Hearing Officer Herbert D. Soll in his five-page administrative order, dated Nov. 6, 2009.
Some teachers reported earlier this month that their pay was routinely late. Others reported that the school has ties with the CNMI Division of Immigration and reported that the agency has "fixed" papers on behalf of the school.

The school continues to be endorsed by Governor Fitial and his greetings remain on the LISS website along with an endorsement from the Marianas Visitors Authority. The school was hailed as part of the Fitial Administration's efforts in promoting the CNMI as a edu-tourist destination.

LISS is being sued by the former principal, Richard Nigh and also by a former employee who charged the owners with several serious charges including human trafficking. Attorney Loren Sutton is representing both clients.

Brendon said he needs the money that is owed to him. He has been living on Saipan for nine months without a job and thanked his friends who have helped him. From the Variety:
He left LISS in March after failing to receive his salary for two months. After terminating his employment, he sued its owners.
Brendon said he has been jobless the past nine months.
“It’s hard to live and very hard to get a job on Saipan because of the economy. I thank my friends and other people for helping me,” he added.
Brendon said he arrived on Saipan as a tourist in Jan. 2008 and was retained by Ladera as its “volunteer” for 11 months.
He was eventually hired as a contract worker on Dec. 11, 2008.
Brendon said he did not receive any days off and that he was on call 24 hours a day as their “dorm manager.”
Brendon said he checked with the Division of Taxation and Revenue and found that the tax withheld from him was never paid by LISS.
I was informed that many tourists have entered the CNMI on Visitor Entry Permits and later they were authorized for contract employment, granted a student or educational permit, or converted to business entry permit holders.

It's really time there was a complete investigation of this school.


Saipan Writer said...

LISS has not been certified by the feds for foreign students. I'm hoping it will be closing its doors!

As bad as the treatment of workers is, far worse is that students--children--are not getting the education they deserve.

captain said...

So aside from this "school" having Imm.(and probably DOL) in it's pockets, They have not been making salary. Looks like these owners and main players will soon disappear in the middle of the night.
Isn't this a Fed problem now?

Also these people that are "converted" from tourist to "volunteer" or to contract worker are here illegally.This is easily verified from the passport entry stamp.

This guy "Brendon" has been here many month without a job and is also illegal.

I would think that it would be in his (Brendon) best interest to go to the Feds and make a deal with them before they go after him. Also if the Feds are aware of these scams, they can put a "no travel" alert at the airport for the School's main players so they cannot leave the island.

On one of your other articles I made comments about these DOL people. I (and many others) have been aware of this for years. From the time it was DOLI this has been going on.

Nothing has ever come out of it as if anything was said they would terminate the inside employee that brought it up.

Pam Brown, many years ago (with the Feds) was aware if this type of thing when Zackarias was Director.
I was pursuing a labor case on behalf of on of our employees that I got from another company that had a new contract for the employee post dated and stamped prior to my contract as they did not want to lose the employee.(after a 30) day notice was given to the company that he was not going to renew his contract.
Pam helped me out on that case and I found out that time thing like this was common but it was difficult to "pin" the persons.

It sure would be good if the Feds had the authority and could start bringing down some of these people, along with any higher up in the Govt that was involved or who "ordered" this type of thing.