As a maritime worker, you likely received training on the Merchant Marine Act, more commonly known as the Jones Act, or Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act (LHWCA) before starting your job or one of the first days you were working at it. These federal laws protect, at least partially, the rights of certain maritime workers who suffer injuries.
These laws are specific to the workers and situations that they cover. If you work in a maritime industry sector not covered by these laws and you get hurt, you may wonder what your options are for pursuing compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other incident-related expenses. Some other lesser-known laws may help.
Lesser-known laws that protect maritime workers
Three federal laws protect maritime workers similarly to the Jones Act and LHWCA, including:
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OSCLA): Protects workers employed to explore offshore natural resources, such as oil.
- Defense Base Act (DBA): Covers virtually anyone in a contractual relationship with the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NAFIA): Extends protections to civilians employed on U.S. military bases.
Most injured workers count on tapping into their employers’ workers’ compensation coverage to pay for medical care for their work-related injuries or lost wages, but workers’ comp doesn’t apply to maritime workers. It’s important that you’re clear about the different laws that protect maritime workers when the Jones Act or LHWCA doesn’t cover you, either. This knowledge can help you secure the compensation you need for your recovery and financial stability.