Although maritime law and The Jones Act are often used together, they are separate terms. The Jones Act, within the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, dictates the laws about transporting goods via water and those employed to work on U.S. ships. The Jones Act declares the legal right to carry out lawsuits against employers for personal damages.
The Jones Act is a section of Maritime law that specifies the legal rights of seamen working on U.S. ships. Maritime law dictates multiple areas of seafaring matters beyond the Jones Act’s scope. However, the overlap between both is that legalities are still needed to protect against the intrusion of another country from entering U.S. domestic industries.
The Jones Act ensures that U.S. workers are hired to work on U.S. ships and are protected should an injury occur. The need to preserve commerce is still relevant. This article discusses how the Jones Act came about, its relevance, and the need for jones act attorneys today.
How Did The Jones Act Come About?
Introduced by U.S. Senator Wesley Jones from Washington State, The Jones Act limited transport between U.S. ports to American ships owned and crewed by American citizens. It was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson on June 5th, 1920. It was also passed to help bolster U.S. presence within foreign and domestic commerce.
Here are some additional reasons this was enacted:
- helped the U.S. shipping industry recover after World War I
- ensured domestic shipbuilding and a maritime workforce
- guaranteed there were American ships with American citizens who knew how to use those ships in emergencies
The Relevance Today
The Jones Act provides and protects jobs for U.S. citizens. The Jones Act also offers national security. Beyond having ships built to secure and stable standards and ensuring a workforce that can navigate those ships in times of war, it also prevents national security threats by preventing foreign-owned vessels from accessing U.S. waterways. Moreover, The Jones Act preserves environmental and worker safety by requiring all ships to meet U.S. regulations, such as being built, owned, and operated in the U.S.
The Need For Jones Act Attorneys
Today, Jones act attorneys are still needed to ensure that the terms of the act are followed. The laws protect seamen injured while working, allowing them to pursue action against their employer for any necessary damages.
Today’s jones act attorneys will recognize the following:
1). If you work on a vessel operating on navigable waters, you are covered under the Jones Act, regardless of your occupation on the ship.
2). If you spend over 30% of your time working on such a vessel on the water, you are considered a “Jones Act” seaman.
With Jones act attorneys, positions are protected against unfair and unlawful treatment.
Legalities And Lawyers Keep Maritime Protections Intact
Protecting U.S. shipbuilding, U.S. job opportunities, and U.S. commerce are essential components of preserving national security. Thanks to The Jones Act and guidance from Jones act attorneys, laws that protect U.S. commerce, workers, and safety remain intact today.