When you earn your living as a California maritime worker, you have certain protections available to you if you suffer an injury while at sea. The Jones Act, or the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, gives you a means through which to recover compensation from your maritime employer to help cover injury-related and other expenses.
According to PBS, the Jones Act came to be after World War I to help protect those who work at sea.
Jones Act safety specifications
The Jones Act sets certain guidelines and stipulations your employer must follow to help protect his or her crew while at sea. It dictates what maritime employers must do as far as safety regulations and crew well-being. It also asserts that they must maintain safe working environments and offer medical care for crew members. Furthermore, the Jones Act sets guidelines for maintaining vessels and lifeboats, training and licensing maritime crew members, and complying with all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations, among other stipulations.
Jones Act compensation specifications
The Jones Act also helps protect you against exploitation at the hands of your employer. It states that your employer must compensate you for any injuries you suffer that are the result of your employer’s own negligence. To have eligibility for compensation under the Jones Act, you must work as a “seamen.” However, exactly what that means is somewhat open to interpretation. According to one federal court ruling, how much time you spend at sea helps determine whether you have “seamen” status.
There are statutes of limitations associated with filing claims under the Jones Act. If you wish to file a claim, make sure you are aware of these deadlines.