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wrongful termination or just quid pro quo sexual harassment?
TJM
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 6:55 PM
Joined: 12/06/2009
Posts: 5


It seems that no one will help me with my situation which was very obviously unjust. It has caused me, among other things, to wonder how much of this goes on unreported in the industry and why? Anyone want to share your story?
kdhguard00
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 7:15 PM
Joined: 16/09/2008
Posts: 31


Elaborate. What happened?
MatrixLloyd.com
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 7:46 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52


Hi TJM. Thanks for your post. Perhaps you start at the beginning...
TJM
Posted: Friday, July 24, 2009 4:44 PM
Joined: 12/06/2009
Posts: 5


I was rather vague I realize. It's a long story. My job as sole stew on a private yacht ended abruptly when the 70 yr old owner showed up without his wife. He became very forward and behaved inappropriately. After 2 days of him chasing me around and alternately pouting, canceling interior projects and drinking heavily, he told me several things. The main one being that "it wasn't working out anymore". He offered severance pay and then revoked it when I refused to stay aboard for the duration of his visit! I have tried legal recourse to no avail and now I would just like to help prevent this sort of dismissal from happening to others. Btw I am in my 40's and very accustomed to working with men. Theres more, but you get the idea...
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2009 6:06 AM
Go to a reputable crew agency and take out papers for a lien on the vessel or a straight arrest. Crew cannot be let go minus pay no matter where.

MatrixLloyd.com
Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2009 11:51 AM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52


Your rights and duties will be governed by the law applicable to the contract of employment. This will be stated in the contract of employment. If you had no contract of employment, then, frankly, you were a fool. But assuming you did, then this is the starting place. Harassment is subjective, so proving it will be difficult. His offer to terminate the contract may have fallen within a trial period, during which he had the right to terminate for any reason. Otherwise he should he given the amount of notice required by the contract or otherwise required by the applicable law. This amount of notice will be the amount of damages you could claim – assuming that you couldn’t prove the harassment point. The minimum amount of notice required is often not as long as some people think. It can be as short as a week. Given that you may have to put up some form of financial security to arrest the yacht, this may not be a practical course of action, but you would still have a small case against your employer (which may, of course, be a company, rather than the gentleman concerned).
TJM
Posted: Monday, August 10, 2009 3:23 PM
Joined: 12/06/2009
Posts: 5


Yea, I have talked with several lawyers, so I have heard it before. Thanks though! I had filed employment applications with the owners Waste Removal business he just never processed them and paid me out of his personal account. It is just a bad deal all the way around. Great job that I was good at, company car, travel expenses etc. but being the sole stew I had a nice relationship with his wife and we often toured together. Before his attacks he was a friend as well. His actions hurt me, the yacht and their well being on the yacht all temporary of course. So lessons learned and letting go is a lesson in its self! Smooth sailing....
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 3:49 PM

Hi TJM,

I am sorry to hear what has happend to you. Well, I had a similar story last summer in Antibes. I've got hired by a Captain on a 20m Sunseeker. Therefore I was, just like you, the sole stewardess. But not only that. Besides the Captain and myself there were no other crew members. Since I was back in my hometown when I've got hired and not in Antibes he offered me to pay for my ticket upon arrival. Well, call me stupid or whatever. I arranged my ticket, went to Antibes and started working on the boat without asking for the ticket money right away. Everything went well the first couple of days so I did not bother. Then on the 3rd day we had to go on anchor since somebody else had a reservation for our berth. That's when it got out of hand. The same evening when we got back to the boat and I was about to prepare a meal for us he was suddenly standing behind me and grabbed my breasts. I told him to forget about any sexual encounters with me now and in the future. He turned around and acted like nothing happend. But the next day he treated me like a modern slave and made me to do jobs I am not supposed to do. In the evening I was so fed up and didn't feel well I decided to go straight to my cabin and rest. When he came to ask me about dinner I told him that I am not hungry. Right then he interupted me and told me I am fired! And he told me I am not allowed to leave my cabin until the next morning when he would take me back ashore. I was totally shocked. But what could I possibly do in that situation? Especially since we were offshore and I was alone with him. So I tried to stay calm, started packing my stuff and called a friend who owns a crew house in Antibes for a place to stay. The next morning the Captain paid me my hours but was not willing to pay for my ticket. When I was back ashore I went straight to the marine authorities and told them what happend. They sent me to the Coast Guard where I filed a report. Right after they went to the boat and picked up the Captain for questioning and then sent the whole report to the next higher authorities. Oh, and they made him to pay me back the money for my ticket. Bwt, while he was questioned by the Coast Guard he had already the next girl in his dhingy he had just hired! She left him two days later for more or less them same reasons. I found out about it through the agency I've got the job from. They called me in so I could have a talk with her. After those incidents the agency decided not to send any more girls to that boat. Unfortunately I don't know if the Captain ever got convicted or lost his license since I left Antibes shortly after to work on another boat in Italy. I still have the paperwork/report and would definitly check it out should I be in Antibes or in France again. You see, it happens more often than people are willing to talk about. I just wish more crew members would come forward and report such incidents to protect future crew. Too bad we don't have something like a black list for bad boat owners or bad Captains! Or even bad crew members to keep it fair. Good luck in the future.

Edited August 13: Yes, I also would go for a white list! Maybe we could create one right here on dockwalk.com?!


Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 8:56 PM
If we do a black list, could we do a white list, whilst there are bad people out there, there are also really good people out there.
Kate
Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 9:32 PM
Joined: 01/05/2008
Posts: 41


I love that white list idea. A black list would be useful, but who's to say the one black-listing isn't really a "black-listee" going on the offensive and black-listing the actual good crew. Too subjective, I'm afraid. I'll start a new white list forum now and feel free to recommend all great captains and crew.


TJM
Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2009 6:49 PM
Joined: 12/06/2009
Posts: 5


Thanks for the reply posts! While I LOVE the idea of a black list, perhaps it is a bit negative. Part of being a happy person is to not draw in negativity. In turn you are able to rise above the transgression, while karma takes care of the rest. I will admit seeking revenge and justice were my first thoughts. But to be a part of something bigger, something that gives us all a voice and prevents the aggressors from getting away with it time and time again.....well thats priceless! Please keep the stories coming!
 
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