KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon/Marianas Variety, Jan. 2) - The Attorney General’s Office has filed criminal charges against two employers on Palau, including Ngarchelong Gov. Browny Salvador, for labor law violations.

Several counts of unlawful employment of non-resident workers were filed against Salvador, his wife Saluai, and businessman Lawrence Johnsrud.

The Salvadors were sued for failure to provide work permits to five foreign workers which include two Filipinos and three Bangladeshis.

The couple was also charged for non-payment of labor fees for the five workers.

The bureau imposes a maximum of $500 fine for overstaying aliens and it is collected from the employee and employer.

According to the affidavit of probable cause signed by labor law enforcement officers, the five alien workers do not have valid work permits.

The workers complained that for several months they have not been receiving their salaries from Salvador, the affidavit said.

The Bureau of Immigration has issued fines against the workers for overstaying and given them notices to depart the country.

The bureau also issued a notice against Salvador to pay fines as a result of his failure to provide the workers with work permits.

It was learned that the workers are still employed with Salvador although their work permits were not renewed when the lawsuit was filed against the defendants.

The affidavit stated that the workers did not possess valid work permits for almost a year.

Johnsrud was charged for failing to provide valid work permits to at least three Filipino workers.

Charges of aiding and abetting overstayers to remain in the country were also filed against Johnsrud.

In the affidavit, the labor officer said the workers complained that the defendant failed to pay their wages.

The officer added that in a hearing last August, Johnsrud sent his representative, Leilani Johnsrud, and agreed to submit a letter regarding A.J.J. Enterprise’s repatriating the three workers.

In November Johnsrud indicated in his letter that his company would either buy tickets for the workers or make the necessary arrangements to transfer the three to a new employer.

However as of Dec. 16, the defendant had not transferred the three workers nor were their work permits had been renewed.

January 2, 2002

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