Baltic Sea ferry in sick pay row

A waitress is suing the ferry company she works for after they refused to give her sick pay while she recovered from cosmetic breast surgery. The woman, who was born in 1981, took two weeks off from her employment on the Baltic Sea boat to recuperate after a ‘boob job’ last autumn.

The waitress admitted that the time off was not for medical reasons, but her employers, Viking Line ferries, docked the hours from her holiday allowance and refused to give her sick pay when they discovered the reason for her leave.

According to The Local, union bosses are now taking the ferry company to court, demanding SEK 185,000 (USD 25,000) in lost wages and compensation. If successful, only SEK 85,000 (USD 11,487) will go to the waitress, while the other SEK 100,000 (USD 135,130) will go to the union.

“The Seamen’s Act states that a seaman is not entitled to sick pay if he or she has deliberately caused him or herself an injury. This was a cosmetic operation, and therefore the injury should be seen as self-inflicted,” Dag Gustavsson, press secretary for Transportgruppen, who represent the ferry company, told The Local.

Seko, the worker’s union, believes the fact that the woman’s injuries were self-inflicted is irrelevant, however, and that the maritime law should not apply. “An operation is an operation, and you should get the same sick pay for that whether you work on sea or land,” said Seko’s Mats Ekeklint.