Friedman & Houlding LLP filed a racial harassment and retaliation lawsuit on behalf of Gil Elie against his former employers, North Star Fishing Co., Glacier Fish Co., and Cape Horn Vessel.
Mr. Elie, who is African American, alleges in his Complaint that while fishing in the Bering Sea aboard Defendants’ vessel the F/T Cape Horn, his Latino supervisor repeatedly referred to him as “mayate,” a derogatory Spanish slur for African Americans. Mr. Elie reported his supervisor’s use of racial slurs to Defendants’ management team, whose reaction, Elie alleges, was to admit that the manager himself had been referred to as a vulgar anti-Asian slur and to suggest that Elie respond by calling his Latino supervisor a “stupid pendejo.” Following his complaint, he was immediately retaliated against and subjected to increasingly hostile harassment.
The environment aboard the vessel made the mistreatment against Mr. Elie uniquely severe. He was in the middle of the ocean, his contact with the outside world was limited to spotty internet connections, and the vessel was not just his place of employment, it was also his temporary home. There was simply no escape for Mr. Elie, and his Complaint alleges that Defendants played on these circumstances to amplify the abuse.