What Is Required of My Employer Under the Jones Act

The Jones Act provides a seaman recovery and compensation if he is injured or killed due to the negligence of his maritime employer, or his co-employees.  This is a broad and valuable remedy, but to be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act, you must prove negligence.

An employer’s negligence can come in many forms, and as stated above, an employer will also be responsible for his employees’ negligence as long as the negligent act occurs within the scope of employment.

An employer must do the following, and violations may be the basis of a Jones Act Claim:

  • A safe working environment must be provided.  This means that if your employer knows of any dangerous working conditions, he must warn his employees of them.
  • Adequate training and instruction for each job is requisite.  This is an ongoing duty that the employer must honor, and is a critical aspect of employee safety.
  • Equipment must be checked for safety.  A safe workplace is useless without safe equipment.  An employer has the duty to provide safe equipment with proper instructions to his employees.
  • Each task must be adequately staffed.  In order to comply with the requirements of the Jones Act, there must be an adequate number of crew members staffed to every job.  If you are called upon to perform a task that can not be safely performed alone, this will be considered a violation of the Jones Act.
  • If an employer violates a safety statue and the violation contributed to an employee’s injury, it will be considered proof of negligence in and of itself.  The purpose of the statute will not be relevant, as long as the violation contributed to injury.
  • If an employee falls overboard, no matter what the reason, an employer owes the employee a duty to rescue, and every reasonable means available must be used to make the rescue.  Failure to do so is also a Jones Act violation.
  • Proper medical care must be provided to an injured seaman.  If incompetent medical care leads to the worsening of a medical condition, the employer will be liable for this as well.

These are some of the things that the Jones Act requires of maritime employers.  They should provide you with a reference point as to what types of actions constitute violations under the Jones Act.  If you are employed in the maritime line of work and have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Contact a maritime attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP today.  We are always available for a free case review.  In our conversation, we will be able to provide you with guidance as to the best course of action for your particular situation.  If you were injured on the job, you do not have to suffer alone.  Contact one of our attorneys for help.