Longshoreman Removed from Waterfront for Excessive Absenteeism; Attempted to Use His Activities as New Jersey State Assemblyman as an Excuse
December 21, 2022
Today, the Commission removed longshoreman William Sampson IV, 33, of Bayonne, New Jersey, from the waterfront for failing to meet the work and work availability requirements in January-June 2022. Sampson had been employed as a port worker at GCT Bayonne. He claimed that his attendance at particular meetings or events in his capacity as a New Jersey State Assemblyman was “good cause” for his absences. The Commission rejected Sampson’s claim of good cause for the following reasons:
Commitments to outside employment, which prevent a longshoreman from meeting the work requirements at the pier, are inconsistent with the Commission’s mandate to eliminate casual workers from the register. Sampson’s employment as a New Jersey State Assemblyman does not insulate him from his responsibilities as a longshoreman.
Sampson failed to present any evidence to justify his absences in February 2022.
- Sampson testified that he had “no particular reason” for not working or making himself available for work on Saturdays.
- Sampson failed to present sufficient evidence that attendance at particular events was mandatory to serve as a New Jersey State Assemblyman. He acknowledged a possibility that, on certain dates, he could have attended the events and still worked later on those days as a longshoreman. He also misstated his role as a speaker at one event.
For all of these reasons and others, the Commission unanimously denied Sampson’s request to be retained on the longshoremen’s register in the Port of New York-New Jersey.