SAIPAN — A man from the American island of Saipan recently filed a lawsuit against his former employer and business partner for unpaid overtime, breach of contract, and paying less than minimum wage.
The lawsuit names Seahorse Inc. and its owner/operator as defendants and seeks compensation for pay below the minimum wage, overtime wages, incidental and consequential damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff entered into a contract with the defendant while working as an employee of the tourism and marine sports company.
The terms of the contract included the plaintiff agreeing to a $35 a day wage, $10 of which would be deducted for medical and travel expenses. After ten years of work, the owner would then transfer over 50 percent of the company’s shares.
While working for Seahorse, Inc., the plaintiff claims he worked 12-hour days, six days a week and an additional six hours on Sundays. The plaintiff says he was eventually paid $400 per week but those wages failed to make up for the decade of working for less than minimum wage and without overtime.
Defendant Refused to Comply with Terms of Contract
The agreement could have gone on as planned except for the defendant’s alleged breach of contract in 2015. The plaintiff claims when he asked for his half of the company’s shares, the defendant refused and eventually fired him as retaliation.
Adding insult to injury, the plaintiff’s suit also claims that his requests for reimbursement for medical treatment and related travel expenses went rebuffed. Representatives for the defendant’s company told the plaintiff if he wanted to claim his medical benefits he would have to sign over his rights to various properties.
After one trip to the Philippines for medical treatment, the plaintiff arrived to find he was locked out of his residence. The defendant is accused of changing the locks on the plaintiff’s door and denying him access to his belongings. As a result, the plaintiff became homeless for a time, allegedly.
Wage Theft and Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
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