FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CR
WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 1996                            (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One hundred and seventy Filipino school
teachers in the public school system on the Northern Mariana
Islands who received lower salaries and less favorable benefits
than state-side American teachers can now receive their share of a
$2.1 million settlement reached with the Justice Department.
     Judge Alex R. Munson, of the U.S. District Court on Saipan, on
Friday approved the distribution of the funds to 170 former and
current employees of the school system.  The court has already
begun allocating the funds provided under the agreement-- the
second largest obtained by the Justice Department in an employment
discrimination case based on national origin.
     The agreement reached in August 1994, resolved a 1992 Justice
Department suit alleging that the Commonwealth violated Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act by engaging in a pattern of discrimination
against Filipino public school teachers.  
     The suit alleged, among other things, that the Commonwealth
paid Filipinos less than similarly qualified American teachers
recruited from the continental United States and Hawaii, known as
state-siders, refused to provide housing and transportation
benefits to Filipino teachers, and provided less favorable
conditions of employment to Filipino teachers than state-siders. 
     Under the settlement, the Commonwealth, Board of Education,
Public School System, and Commissioner of Education agreed to  
pay back wages and other benefits to those victims of the
discrimination; develop a written policy prohibiting discrim-
ination; establish guidelines to ensure equal pay for equal
education and experience; and adjust existing housing and salary
disparities for teachers.  
     The school system also agreed to submit reports on its
employment patterns to the Justice Department until September 1997,
and allocate an additional $150,000 to be used to fund an Equal
Employment Opportunity specialist position and related employment
awareness programs.
     "We will continue to monitor the Commonwealth's Public School
System to ensure it complies with the requirements of Title VII and
treats all its employees fairly," said Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights Deval L. Patrick.
     Claimants who wish to pick up their awards in the Commonwealth
can do so by presenting positive identification to the Clerk of the
U.S. District Court, on the 2nd floor of the Horiguchi Building on
Saipan.  The Philippine Consulate and the U.S. Embassy in Manila
have agreed to help distribute checks to claimants who currently
reside in the Philippines.  Claim checks will be mailed to
claimants who live in places other than the Commonwealth or the
                              # # #