Pursuing Wages In Your Seamen’s Wage Claim
Most working seamen enjoy preferred status under federal maritime law when it comes to payment of their wages. If you’re a seaman with an unpaid wage claim, or any other type of maritime worker with a dispute concerning overtime or unpaid wages, contact the attorneys at Brodsky Micklow Bull & Weiss LLP.
Our skilled maritime lawyers know how to enforce your claim to unpaid wages. We’ve arrested vessels in distant ports and enforced maritime liens. We know that unpaid seamen enjoy a higher priority on their wage claims than even a bank that holds a perfected purchase money security interest in a vessel.
How Wage Claims Work In Maritime Circumstances
Different rules apply to the unpaid wage claims of various classes of seamen and each of the following are treated somewhat differently under the statutes:
- Seamen and merchant mariners on international voyages.
- Coastwise mariners, who sail between United States ports.
- Commercial fishermen and fishing crews working on certain vessels.
- Jones Act seamen who work within a particular state, such as pilots and mates, barge workers, tug operators, and workers in various harbor craft.
The last-mentioned class of seamen may need to enforce their claims for unpaid wages in state courts under state wage and hour laws, including those relating to overtime and maximum work hours. The first three classes will usually have federal maritime wage claims.
In the event of a bankrupt or insolvent shipper, we know how to enforce failure to pay claims in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and in certain situations, we can obtain relief from the automatic stay in order to arrest a ship or enforce a lien against a vessel.