Some jobs come with inherent risks, but adding the sea can make everything more dangerous. For this reason, the Jones Act looks to protect you when you’re working out at sea – as long as you qualify.
Louisiana is a leader in the U.S. maritime industry. Ranked #1 per capita for jobs, and responsible for pumping $18.2 billion into the economy every year, working on the water is a huge deal in the Bayou State. But those big numbers don’t come without a cost, which is why protections are in place to help workers that earn their living on the waves if you can prove it.
Keeping your claim afloat
There are a few factors that show whether or not you’re a seaman covered by the Jones Act:
- Assignment: You’ll need to be serving on a ship that the Jones Act classifies as a ship in navigation. An oil platform fixed to the seafloor or a ship in dry docks won’t usually qualify. But a floating oil rig or a moored ship in port may pass the test.
- Contribute: You have to pay your dues to the ship for the law to consider you a member. You may work for the same company, but that doesn’t mean the Jones Act will cover you if you set foot on the boat. You’ll have to be an active crew member on the ship, like a deckhand, engineer or rig worker.
- Time served: Event though you work a job that makes you part of the crew, you’ll still have to clock enough hours to make it count. Engineers, loaders and medics may have responsibilities on land and at sea, but you’ll need to show that you spend at least 30% of your time aboard a vessel.
Business at sea is good in Louisiana, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve got coverage when you need it. Make sure you know who qualifies as a seaman, and you may open the way to getting the help you deserve.