When the coronavirus pandemic struck the world’s cruise industry it left an estimated 100,000 cruise workers stranded aboard the ships on which they work. Unable to disembark the ships, the workers remained confined there for months. Many described the conditions as terrible and various ships even saw protests. Now that the crew members are finally returning home, some are filing lawsuits against their employers as a result of the confinement.
WashingtonPost.com reports that several workers of the Bahamas Paradise cruise line have filed suit against the company, claiming that they were illegally held aboard the ship and forced to work without pay.
The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, claims that the cruise line “effectively held [the workers] hostage.” The Post reports that the plaintiffs charge Bahamas Paradise with not paying them guaranteed severance pay, pressuring them into signing a misleading agreement, and delaying sending them home.
The report says that when the coronavirus pandemic first disrupted the cruise industry, company officials gave the workers the option to either stay aboard the ship without pay or disembark and never work for the company again. Because many workers believed that the confinement would be short-lived, they decided to stay aboard the ship. It was only later that they learned that they would have to spend several months aboard the ship without pay.