As a worker in the maritime industry, there’s a strong likelihood that you’re familiar with the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act. Most individuals in this industry readily associate the Jones Act with the federal government’s requirement to allow only American crews of U.S. registered ships carry passengers and cargo between domestic ports.
A portion of the Jones Act also outlines maritime workers’ qualifications for medical coverage, lost wages and other benefits if they suffer a work-related illness or injury. It can be helpful for you to learn more about what your employer’s obligations are to you under the Jones Act if you become injured or ill.
What the Jones Act requires your employer to do
Maritime employers must take necessary measures to protect their workers’ safety on the job. Employers may be held liable for a workers’ injuries resulting from:
- Insufficient training of the water vessel’s captain or crew
- Maritime employees’ failures to clean up slippery substances, such as oil, that may accumulate on a water vessel’s deck
- Their failure to provide workers with necessary gear to safely perform their role
- Any failure to perform adequate background checks on crew members necessary to assess their potential to commit a violent crime
- Any instance in which inadequate training or maintenance results leads to misuse or malfunctioning
It can be very challenging to understand the legalese used in the Jones Act. This can make it difficult to understand whether you qualify for compensation under this federal law. This is critical information you’ll want to find out so that you can stake a claim to the compensation that you deserve.