I don't think so as long as he is furnished the wages owed to him.Originally Posted by chgonyer
Quick question for all you sea lawyers out there. A guy at my company (not me) just quit while out on the boat, the company told him tough shit we arent gonna pay for your travel off the boat to anywhere (he is gonna be in Bethel Alaska). i always thought that they had to get you to your port of hire, is that right or not?
I don't think so as long as he is furnished the wages owed to him.Originally Posted by chgonyer
thank you sir
Just back to the US if my memory of the CFRs are right.
Getting straight with Nate, because apparently getting right means your going to have to retake Nav Gen
I also believe that the Company only has to get you back the The States (repatriation is the term IIRC) and Alaska counts so your ex-shipmate might be in for an expensive trip home.
A Good Friend will Bail you out of Jail, But a Great Friend will be sitting right next to you saying WOW that was a Blast!
If the employer is smart, they will provide transportation for that man.
Alaska has a statute that requires employers that bring employees to Alaska, to pay for the employee's return travel back out of Alaska. (Alaska does not want your problem employee to become their welfare recipient).
As I recall, USCG regs require that when a seaman is discharged, he must be returned to the port of shipment. Not sure how "quitting" may effect that.
Did he sign Articles? Is there a written employment agreement? Employee Handbook? Union collective bargaining agreement?
Bethel is an expensive to get out of. The airfare to Anchorage is probably twice as much as the airfare from Anchorage to any major us airport. Unless you have a lot of "draw money" on hand, and pay the guy off with a fairly substantial sum, he won't be able to fly out of Bethel. If the man is stranded in Bethel, it won't take long for him, and what the employer did to him, to come to the attention of the police. The guy is apt to go straight to the city hall to apply for welfare, and/or a department of labor agent to look for a job. When the guy does get on the plane, the first thing that he will see are the lawyer ads in Alaska Airlines magazine.
There are way to many risks and downsides to this situation. Don't let your company be arrogant and stupid, make sure that they get that man a plane ticket out of Alaska.
Here is the Alaska Statute.
Article 05 . TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES
Sec. 23.10.375. Policy.
The welfare of the state demands that adequate provision be made for financing the return transportation of certain persons to their place of recruitment inside and outside the state upon termination of employment.
Sec. 23.10.380. Right to return transportation.
(a) An employer who furnishes, finances, agrees to furnish or finance, or in any way provides transportation for a person from the place of hire to a point inside or outside the state to employ the person shall provide the person with return transportation to the place of hire from which transportation was furnished or financed, or to a destination agreed upon by the parties, with transportation to be furnished or financed
(1) on or after the termination of employment for a cause considered good and sufficient by the department, beyond the control of the person, or on or after the termination of the contract of employment or a renewal of the contract; and
(2) upon the request of the person or the department made within 45 days after the termination of employment.
[B](b) Upon the termination of employment the subsistence of the employee may not continue longer than 10 days after the termination or until transportation is available, whichever occurs first.
Sec. 23.10.385. Enforcement by civil action.
(a) The department may take a written assignment of a right of action provided by AS 23.10.380, and may prosecute the action. The department may join various employees in one claim and in case of suit may join them in one action.
(b) The general provisions of law respecting wage collection suits brought by the department in behalf of employees apply in an action brought under this section.
Sec. 23.10.390. Construction of contracts.
AS 23.10.375 - 23.10.400 are considered a part of every contract of hire involving transportation of an employee to and from this state or from one part of the state to another.
Sec. 23.10.395. Orders and regulations.
The department may issue orders and adopt regulations necessary to carry out AS 23.10.375 - 23.10.400.
Sec. 23.10.400. Penalty.
An employer who violates AS 23.10.375 - 23.10.400 is, in addition to any civil liability, guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.
I'm no lawyer, but I do watch a lot of "Law and Order".
You would lose that argument in court.
The cost of repatriation can be taken out of the seaman's payoff but the vessel owner or manager is obligated to return that seaman to his point of embarkation or other destination agreed to. Kicking somebody off or watching them walk off doesn't relieve responsibility for what happens to the guy.
Does the company have an agent in Bethel? Handling that sort of situation is what an agent gets paid to do and may have legal responsibility for.
I'd never heard of the Alaska stature before so I'm only going off a plain reading of the language in the post. If there is legal precedent that quitting doesn't prevent the application of said statute to employers, requiring them to furnish transportation than obviously it applies even if a seaman walks off. Clearly, even with a plain reading of the language, it would apply to kicking someone off as I'm sure that is exactly whom it was intended for.
The guy's lawyer will pick whatever statute fits best and the cost to the company to defend its choice to play hardass will make a ticket home seem like pocket change.
If the guy gets in trouble or gets hurt they will wish they had sent him home in a chartered bizjet.
My recollection from the days of working in the fisheries in Alaska was that if a person quit or more importantly, refused to work, the company could charge him for his board until such time as he could be delivered to a place where transportation to his point of hire was available. He would then be given all earned wages in cash and be on his own to do whatever he wanted with his sorry ass or could decide for the company to purchase a return ticket to the point of hire and take the cost of the ticket from wages. If wages weren't enough to cover the cost of the fare, he had to get money wired for the difference. None of these people ever had a credit card.
One time in the early 80's, we had a violent assault onboard a fish processing ship and instead of turning the person over to the Alaska State Troopers the captain offered the guy that he can take his money and we'll skiff him to the beach in Egegik (which is about 1/10th the size of Bethel). He took the deal and I have to wonder what happened to the sucker once he got to the beach? Can you imagine thinking you'll be going into some goldrush town with lots of work available only to find a couple of stray dogs and a bunch of rusted old trucks? I wouldn't be surprised if he started to live in one of the trucks and started to eat the dogs!
Had another happen at the dock in DH when I was master. A guy sexually assaulted a female processor and he had been in my sights for some time for being a shithead and trouble. Once the report came from the woman there was no investigation at all. I had a big foreman take the guy to pack his stuff, the bookkeeper got his money and as soon as everything was ready, we handed him the money and frogmarched him down the brow. From start to finish was under 10 minutes. It was Opilio season in February at about 5am, blowing like hell, snowing and dark. The last sight I had of the guy was him standing there on the dock with this look on his face that he had just been run over by a truck! It was oh so very sweet!
Can't do any of that shit anymore though which is a pity.
You should all know better by now than to think that the law means what it appears to say in black and white --- they way ordinary people would read it. Judges and juries view the written law through a very different lens.
My Alaska experience is a bit dated, but I have hired and fired and had guys quit at sea or at the dock in Alaska. This seems to happen most often in Dutch Harbor. I have sailed and left guys behind that did not return by sailing time. I have worked for professional and reasonable companies that tried to do things right and I have worked for half-ass, fly-by-night outfits that insisted on doing everything wrong whenever possible.
I have seen a few guys quit at sea (usually on fishing vessels), but after two or three days of sitting around most of them want to go back to work. Given what it will cost the company to fly in a replacement to Bethel, you probably ought to try to rehabilitate your shithead and get him to go back to work. If you have to replace him its better to do it on your schedule and in a place of your choosing rather than his. Your company should appreciate a captain that can solve a problem like this without costing the company a lot of money.
Another consideration is customer relations. If your company has customers in Bethel (or Alaska in general), what are they going to think of the company dumping its shithead on their lap?
As far as the State of Alaska is concerned, if you bring a shithead to Alaska, its your responsibility to take him back out of Alaska. they do not want to be stuck with your problem, especially in a small remote and expensive community. The enforcement may be very uneven and unpredictable. Probably, some companies get away with it, but you could find yourself in a very expensive mess.
If you or your company think that you are justified in dumping a shithead who will be stuck and become a public burden in a small remote town like Bethel (that already has more than its share of shitheads), and that a judge or native jury in Bethel is going to understand that you were justified and read the law in your favor, then you probably have a rude awakening coming.
Please let us know what happens.
You quit you on your own. If you fired they get you back
My understanding of the situation is, he has been an employee for a long time, and a good one that was looked upon favorably. He gave his 2 weeks notice, they asked him to stay on until Bethel (about 3 weeks) and to help the company out he agreed to sail till then. For whatever reason the company then said tough shit we aren't gonna fly you home (to Seattle) and if you don' like it sue us. Now that is coming from his captain (who is on his side and NOT a company man) to the mate out to the fleet. So it is going through some levels of gossip mill, who knows the real story. But thank you everyone for the replies. I will for sure let you all know how it plays out.
It appears to me that the Alaska Statue only applies to workers employed in Alaska, starting and ending in Alaska.
This guy started in Seattle, and quit of his own accord. Big difference.
Also, the statue about being repatriated is when a seaman is signed on under 'foreign articles'. This sounds like a domestic fishing industry.
Let me get this straight. (1) A good man and long time employee gave two weeks notice; (2) the company asked him to stay on for three weeks until Bethel; (3) he could have gotten off at Anchorage, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor or wherever, but he agreed to stay on until Bethel (which is about as far into the remote Alaska boonies off the Bering Sea as its possible to go) to accommodate the needs of the company; and (4) now the company wants to strand him in Bethel, and the company says "tough shit" and "sue us."
He gave the company everything else they wanted. Why stop now? He should give them the rest of what they want --- they are asking for it and have it coming.
Not exclusive to foreign, but a company is under direction to bring a US seaman home from foreign. But on domestic voyages it is negotiable. Whether negotiated when hired or during discussion when quitting. Not saying it is pretty scummy a company doing that, but on a domestic voyage a company is under no obligation to return to origin. Most domestic shipping doesn't even have a routine start and finish. Excepting scheduled service. Even then I have heard several examples of a person not finishing out their scheduled hitch, when leaving early they are on their own.Originally Posted by Steamer
"Captain standard operating procedure for decision making is to do what feels right to you at the time, and then to give logical sounding justifications for what you were already going to do anyway" -