The Jones Act may not receive a lot of acclaim from the general public, but it is a crucial piece of legislation that seamen, shipyard workers, crew members on ships and many other maritime workers respect and uphold. The Jones Act protects workers at sea from dangerous working conditions and any injuries that they may suffer on the job as a result of a vessel's dangers or an employer's negligence.
Feel like you've been misinformed about your rights as a maritime worker? You're not alone.
Imagine that you work on a ship, vessel, oil rig or other maritime structure. Many days will go exactly as you and your employer plan. But every once in awhile, the expectations of the day aren't fulfilled because of a dangerous condition on the vessel or structure. Maybe a mechanical failure caused serious injuries to workers; or a wet substance caused someone to slip and fall; or just an obvious dangerous condition left someone in severe pain.
A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about how we can help workers at sea and crew members on boats and shipping vessels to fulfill their Jones Act and unseaworthiness claims. In that post, we talked about how the Jones Act protects workers, seamen and other people working in maritime industries from unsafe conditions and negligent employers.
Foreign liquids spilled on the ground, unsafe working conditions and negligence by an employer are not factors that are limited to land. These factors can take hold at sea, and they can leave people with serious injuries and debilitating circumstances. Seamen, commercial fishermen, offshore workers and many other people who work under maritime laws have rights that protect them when these conditions arise and they are also covered by federal laws. Given the dangers of their work, these laws are the least that could be provided to help them in their times of need.