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A brief overview of the Jones Act

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Jones Act

Maritime workers in New York have numerous protections under federal law. One important law they should be aware of is their rights under the Jones Act. The following is a brief overview of the Jones Act.

What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is the federal law that governs maritime commerce in our country. Under the Jones Act, ships transporting goods between U.S. ports must be built, owned and operated by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

More importantly, though, the Jones Act provides maritime workers with rights if they are injured on the job, including the ability to pursue compensation from the crew, captain or ship owner. Such compensation may include coverage for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to the injury.

How does the Jones Act affect the price of goods?

The Jones Act increases how much it costs to ship to the non-continental U.S. states and territories, including Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. These areas rely on imports. The Jones Act restricts how many ships can legally ship goods to these areas. It is a situation of supply and demand — the supply of U.S. built and owned ships is low, while the need for goods is high. This means shipping companies can increase prices, which are passed on to buyers.

Learn more about the Jones Act

The Jones Act is a complex piece of legislation, and this post only scratches the surface. Injured maritime workers who want more information about their rights may find our webpage on the Jones Act useful.