28 Nov 2018
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
A FORMER IT&E employee is suing the telecommunications company in federal court for wrongful discrimination, age discrimination, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Terry Kingto, filed the lawsuit against PTI Pacific Inc., doing business as IT&E in the CNMI and Guam, and its executives in their official capacities.
Kingto, represented by attorney Jose Mafnas, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for alleged violations of the ADA. Kingto is demanding a jury trial.
She is also asking for liquidated damages in an amount to be determined at trial for violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
In her 21-page lawsuit, Kingto alleged that she was transferred to Guam from Saipan by false representations by her immediate supervisor and that the transfer was supposed to be only temporary.
Kingto said her transfer to IT&E Guam made her lose her Saipan union coverage that resulted in her becoming ineligible to get back her old job on Saipan as a universal service representative.
Kingto said despite her constant and explicit complaints about her transfer, and her desire to return to the Saipan IT&E office, the IT&E management told her that “no employment opportunity was available for her unless she re-applied to those positions.”
Based on her past interactions with IT&E management, Kingto said she is reasonably certain that if she were to re-apply to a Saipan position as instructed, she would not be granted employment and/or lose all of her benefits of which she had accrued over her more than 25 years of service to IT&E.
Kingto started working at IT&E Saipan in 1989. She had several job titles including service order specialist, plant service center specialist, and universal service representative.
From September 2011 to March 2017, due to IT&E’s refusal to allow her to return to the CNMI branch, Kingto incurred rental and home leasing expenses each and every month within such period as she was forced to work on Guam, her lawsuit stated.
Kingto claimed she suffered emotional stress and mental anguish in that she felt harassed and discriminated against by the defendants on the basis of her age and disability.
Asked for comment, IT&E said it has not yet received a copy of the complaint and will provide its official answer to the court. “IT&E is generally aware of the allegations and disputes the characterization of the alleged events. IT&E is, and has always been, an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment practices. IT&E greatly appreciates the value and diversity of its workforce and strives to create a positive and productive workplace.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/109117-former-employee-sues-it-e