This Class Action lawsuit deals with Defendants’ failure to abide its contractual agreements with its crewmembers. Pursuant to Plaintiffs’ employment contracts, Defendants are required to pay Plaintiffs two months of wages and/or Basic Pay Severance upon Defendants terminating Plaintiffs’ employment contracts. Yet when the COVID pandemic halted all sailings, Defendants forced all crewmembers aboard the ship to sign a document stating they were voluntarily staying onboard, without pay. The crewmembers were forced to sign these agreements by being threatened that they would not be rehired if they did not sign. This system of requiring crewmembers to work, without pay, is the equivalent of forced labor or peonage.
This lawsuit also deals with Defendants failure to timely repatriate its crew members and misrepresenting to crewmembers that Defendants were arranging repatriation for crew members. The crew were unnecessarily kept on the ships for months on end, many thousands of miles away from their homes and families. Remarkably, there are still crewmembers effectively held hostage on the ship. This egregiously delayed repatriation is tantamount to false imprisonment of the crew.