The Jones Act Information Center
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, protects the rights of seamen when they are injured or killed on the job. This Act consists of the precedents and statutes that govern issues or disputes that occur on navigable waters including liability of employers, vessel operators, and owners for injuries sustained by their employees.
The Act is a federal law which establishes the same liability guidelines for all seamen who are injured at work. However, unlike some other protections, the injured seaman is required to prove fault in order to claim the benefits of the laws. Learn more about the Jones Act.
Those assigned to a vessel or fleet are covered under the Jones Act. This means that those who work on commercial fishing vessels, barges, tugboats, tankers, mobile oil rig platforms, or freighters may be protected under this law, while those who work on shore or on fixed platforms are generally covered by other laws, like the Longshore and Harbors Workers Compensation Act. Learn more about your protections as a seaman.
The Longshore and Harbors Worker Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides protections to people who work on docks, ports, terminals, and shipyards. Employees who work loading and unloading vessels, and shipbuilders, breakers, and repairmen, as well as those who support and contribute to the employer’s maritime business such as truck drivers and mechanics, may also be covered under the LHWCA. Learn more about Longshoremen rights, including the status test that determines if you covered under this law.
Maritime employees who are injured in work-related accidents and incidents may receive compensation under the maritime law. However, the law is complex and many times the employer will dispute some aspect of the claim. It is very important that you file accidents claims quickly, and correctly to be eligible for compensation under the law. Learn more about filing an injury claim for injuries and accidents.
Maritime law, also called Admiralty Law, is the body of the law that governs maritime offenses. The law is comprised of both domestic laws and private international laws which deal with matters of the transportation of goods or passengers at sea, as well as marine navigation, salvage, shipping, and sailors. Learn more about Maritime Law here, or through our Maritime Law Glossary.
Jones Act and Maritime Law Frequently Asked Questions
We are regularly asked questions about the intricacies of Maritime law. We have compiled this frequently asked questions to help you quickly find and understand some of the issues that may matter to you most. Read our Maritime Law FAQs.