his case involved a deckhand who was suing the owner of several fishing vessels for wrongful dismissal without proper notice. One issue that was raised during a summary trial application was whether or not the deckhand was an employee so as to be able to sue for wrongful dismissal without notice. The court accepted the vessel owner’s argument that the deckhand was a dependant contractor or free agent rather than an employee and, accordingly, was not automatically entitled to the protection against dismissal without notice provide by either Provincial or Federal legislation. As such, the Court held it was incumbent upon the deckhand to pursue work opportunities with the vessel owner and/or skipper rather than simply waiting to be called to work.
Editors Note: See also the article posted to the Papers section of the Fisheries’ Page entitled, The Legal Status of Crew Members in the West Coast Fishing Industry: Employees, Dependant Contractors or Something in Between.