San Francisco Bar Pilot cites retaliation for job dismissal

(SAN FRANCISCO) – A mariner has filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Bar Pilots and the San Francisco Bar Pilots Benevolent and Protective Association, claiming that his job was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for questioning the organization’s financial practices and safety issues, the Northern California Record reported.

Plaintiff Ronald Greger filed the lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court. According to court documents, Greger, purportedly a master mariner licensed by the California Board of Pilot Commissioners, had been a member of the San Francisco Bar Pilots and the San Francisco Bar Pilots Benevolent and Protective Association until his expulsion on May 10.

San Francisco Bar Pilots photo

According to the complaint, the defendants cited “willful misconduct which materially and adversely affects the well-being and business of the association” as their reason for expelling Greger. Other accusations against him included violation of sick leave rules, failure to carry out pilotage duties during a storm, violation of harassment policies, and suspicion of recording and distributing a confidential meeting.

In response, Greger claims that his expulsion was actually retaliation for raising concerns about the financial practices of the bar pilots and association, gate-keeping of pilot trainees, the right to cancel vessel sailings due to unsafe weather, and complaints to the board about the port agent’s refusal to dispatch him after being declared fit for duty. He states that, as an San Francisco pilot, these duties are protected under the association’s rules.

Greger claims that his expulsion was not done in good faith and was not in a fair and reasonable manner as prescribed by California law. He alleges instead that his expulsion was an act of retaliation for engaging in activities protected by the California Labor Code, and that his termination was wrongful and violated public policy.

By Professional Mariner Staff