The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Women Suffered Repeated Lewd and Perverse Sexual Acts, Federal Agency Charged

SAIPAN, CNMI – 99 Cents, Inc., Yun's Inc., and Townhouse Inc., which own and operate various grocery markets in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), will pay $80,000 and provide substantial remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and retaliation case filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit, (EEOC v. 99 Cents Supermarkets, Inc., U.S. District Court Case CV-08-0019; and Yun's Corporation and Townhouse Inc., U.S. District Court Case No. Cv-07-0031) charged that female cashiers were sexually harassed by a supervisor in the form of unwelcome touching (including slapping and spanking), the touching of private parts, lifting of female employees’ skirts and repeated lewd demands. Despite several complaints, the employer’s management failed to take prompt corrective action. In addition, the employment contracts of two of the female cashiers were not renewed because of their pregnancy.

The consent decree settling the suit, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, provides $80,000 in damages to six women who were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment at the supermarket chain in Saipan. The decree also requires the company to take steps to ensure that harassment does not continue at the supermarket. The remedial relief contained in the consent decree includes revision of the company’s personnel policies and practices, training of personnel, the hiring of an equal employment opportunity consultant, and the posting of the terms of the decree at all of the defendant's facilities.

EEOC Regional Attorney Anna Park of the Los Angeles District Office said“Employers need to beproactive in dealing with discrimination complaints before the EEOC is forced to intervene, as we had to do in this case.”

The Los Angeles District's jurisdiction includes Southern and Central California, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Wake Island and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Timothy Riera, director of the EEOC Honolulu Local Office, which oversees the CNMI, said, “Unfortu­nately, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in the Marianas. The EEOC is making a major effort, through litigation and extensive education and outreach for employers and workers, to address this issue and ensure this trend ends.”

Other recent EEOC settlements involving Title VII violations in the CNMI include:

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at

This page was last modified on April 10, 2009.

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