What is the Jones Act?
What is the Jones Act? The Jones Act is federal legislation that, among other things, protects offshore workers or even inshore workers on the water. For example, if an inshore worker is working on a tugboat, a crew boat, a supply vessel, a jack-up rig, or a jack-up vessel, they are protected by the Jones Act.
The act was created with the intention of building up, fostering, and protecting a robust American merchant marine. This was to increase foreign and domestic commerce. It did this by establishing additional provisions and protections for the workers on merchant marine vessels.
So, what does the Jones Act’s protection entail? It is special protection for the Jones Act seaman who is contributing to the navigation and function of the vessel. This means that the owner or operator is obligated to provide their employees with a safe place of work and a seaworthy vessel. In other words, a place where somebody is not at risk of getting hurt when they follow standard procedures — and to supply a seaworthy crew.
This legislation gives the worker the right to make claims and obtain damages from their employer for the negligence of the shipowner. This can include many acts of the captain and other crew members. These rights aren’t provided for under the common maritime law. So, the Jones Act steps in to fill the legal gaps. The Jones Act is special legislation designed to help the worker who is working on or over navigable waters on vessels. There are many different definitions of vessels. It can get overwhelming to follow them. That’s why you need to talk to an attorney who’s experienced in maritime and Jones Act litigation.
If you have any questions call me. I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.