AVSKJED AV SJØMANN ?

16 May 2013

Bruk av narkotika på fiskefartøy er dessverre et økende problem og stiller store krav til arbeidsgiver, både hva angår korrekt rustesting og saksbehandling dersom en avskjed eller oppsigelse skal stå seg. Frostating […]

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Bruk av narkotika på fiskefartøy er dessverre et økende problem og stiller store krav til arbeidsgiver, både hva angår korrekt rustesting og saksbehandling dersom en avskjed eller oppsigelse skal stå seg. Frostating lagmannsrett har nylig avsagt en ny dom som gir klare føringer for behandling av saker om avskjed. I den aktuelle sak fremsatte sjømannen et krav på erstatning på 1, 2 millioner kroner overfor rederiet for uberettiget avskjed. Han fikk ikke medhold. 

Følgende sammendrag kan gis:

”Et fiskebåtrederi som praktiserte nulltoleranse overfor ethvert rusmiddel ombord, og dertil også overfor bruk av ulovlige rusmidler på friturer, innførte i tillegg til urinprøvetaking også hårprøver. Et besetningsmedlem som nektet å avgi hårprøve ble ansett å ha testet positivt. Avskjedigelsen av ham ble funnet gyldig av såvel tingretten som lagmannsretten.”

Begrunnelsen for lagmannsrettens konklusjon fremgår slik: 

      ” Sjømannsloven har ikke generelle bestemmelser om rederiers adgang til å iverksette kontrolltiltak og framgangsmåte ved ruskontroll, men enkelte prinsipper kan utledes av arbeidsmiljølovens kap. 9. Behovet for kontroll rettet mot rusmiddelbruk i arbeidslivet er selvinnlysende. I særlig grad gjelder dette narkotikabruk kombinert med farefullt arbeid, som i dette tilfelle fiske langt til havs. Av « Retningslinjer for rusmiddelkontroll », vedlegg 2 til tariffavtale mellom Fiskebåtredernes Forbund/Norske Trålerederiers forening og Norsk Sjømannsforbund, følger krav til forhånds informasjon før kontrolltiltak innføres, at kontrollen skal skje ved urinprøve og at samtykke må foreligge fra det enkelte mannskapsmedlem forut for den enkelt test.

       De erklæringer mannskapene, herunder også A, skrev under på 19./20. februar 2012 viser til nevnte vedlegg. Videre innebærer erklæringen en bekreftelse på at man hadde « mottatt, lest og forstått rederiets instruks og retningslinjer for tjeneste mht alkohol og narkotika ». At det i dette tilfellet ikke var gjennomført drøfting i forkant av det nye kontrollregimet, og at kontrollen ikke begrenset seg til urinprøve men også omfattet hårprøve, finner lagmannsretten ikke avgjørende. Nulltoleransepolicyen var innarbeidet og akseptert, informasjon var gitt muntlig før avreisen og de nye retningslinjene var slått opp i mannskapsmessen. Av oppslaget framgikk det klart at « testing » innebar « innhenting av urin- og hårprøve » og at dersom « prøvegiver har nektet å avgi enten utåndingsprøve eller urin-/hårprøve », var dette å likestille med positiv prøve. Det står ikke til troende at A ikke hadde gjort seg kjent med denne informasjonen, slik han selv hevder.

       Lagmannsretten legger til grunn at rustesting må skje i tråd med en alminnelig saklighetsnorm og etter et forholdsmessighetsprinsipp hvor kontrollbehovet avveies mot personvernhensyn. Urinprøvetaking synes i dette tilfellet ikke å ha være bestridt som adekvat testmetode. Denne metoden er ikke egnet til å påvise amfetamin- eller metamfetamininntak mer enn 72 timer etter inntak. Hårprøver, som består i at to mindre hårbunter klippes av inntil hodebunnen for senere undersøkelse i akkreditert laboratorium, viser inntak av slike stoffer i hele den periode det har tatt håret å vokse ut. Da hår normalt vokser ca. én cm i måneden, vil man hos en person med fem cm langt hår således kunne avlese stoffinntak de siste fem måneder. Selv om slike prøver også kan vise bruk av legalt forskrevet medisin, kan lagmannsretten ikke se at denne testmetoden framstår som usaklig begrunnet eller uforholdsmessig sett i lys av testens formål. Det legges her også vekt på at A var innforstått med slik testing da han signerte erklæringen 19. februar 2012.

(…)

    Det er alminnelig antatt at narkotikamisbruk gir grunnlag for avskjed uansett om det ikke er gått ut over tjenesten om bord og uansett om misbruket er gjentatt eller ikke. I dette tilfellet er det nektelse av prøve som er avskjedsgrunnen. Som nevnt gir rederiets retningslinjer klar beskjed om at nektelse er å anse som positiv prøve. Det er vanskelig for lagmannsretten å se andre adekvate sanksjonsmuligheter i slike situasjoner. Rederiet strakk seg langt ikke bare ved å tilby A deltakelse i tur nr. 3-2012, men også ved å love at spor etter misbruk fra tiden før september 2011 ikke ville bli brukt mot ham. Etter lagmannsrettens oppfatning har A ved sin nektelse gjort seg skyldig i grov tjenesteforsømmelse. ” 

Som det fremgår av siste refererte setning anses nektelse av å avgi prøve som grov tjenesteforsømmelse.

Dommen fra Frostating lagmannsrett viser nødvendigheten av gode rutiner ved oppsigelses – og avskjedssaker, og at dokumenter som benyttes ved informasjon til sjømenn og innhenting av samtykke må være meget nøyaktige. Vi håper at dette gir dere nyttige innspill i denne type saker fremover.

 

Om forfatteren

Monica Gjerde Sperre
Monica Gjerde Sperre Monica Gjerde Sperre har i nærmere 20 år arbeidet med fiskerirettslige problemstillinger med hovedvekt på arbeidsrett og skipsarbeidsrett. Hun arbeider fra vårt kontor i Ålesund, men har oppdrag i hele regionen Midt-Norge. Hun arbeider med rettslige spørsmål som berører fiskeindustrien hva angår både landanlegg og fiskeflåten. Hun har derfor et godt innblikk i de næringsrelaterte problemstillinger som reises innenfor bransjen både rettslig og politisk.

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