If you work in the maritime industry, you should know what your rights and protections are, particularly when concerning your health and safety in the context of sexual crimes.
At The Maritime Injury Law Firm, we are dedicated to serving our maritime clients and making sure their rights are protected, no matter what their case looks like.
In this blog, we’re going to look at whether or not The Jones Act covers sexual harassment or assault, and what you can do if you’ve been harassed or assaulted while working a maritime job.
What Is The Jones Act?
The Jones Act, which is also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law that was enacted to help protect American maritime workers.
The Act set guidelines for the rights of seamen working on vessels operating in US waters and helps provide legal recourse for individuals who are injured or even killed while on the job.
The Jones Act helps protect injured seamen by allowing them to file a negligence claim against their employer, subsequently seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and more.
Does the Jones Act Cover Sexual Harassment?
Even though The Jones Act was initially created to protect maritime workers who are injured or killed, it also extends to cases involving sexual harassment.
The courts have consistently upheld that maritime workers experiencing sexual harassment while working on applicable vessels may be entitled to compensation under The Act. The primary reason behind this is that sexual harassment can lead to considerable mental and emotional harm.
To pursue a successful Jones Act claim for sexual harassment, the victim must prove that their employer was negligent and that the negligence led to the harassment.
This is best accomplished with the guidance of an experienced attorney, like our team at The Maritime Injury Law Firm, who can help you determine more accurately if your case is covered by The Jones Act.
Does The Jones Act Cover Sexual Assault?
Just as The Jones Act covers sexual harassment, it also covers cases involving sexual assault.
Victims of sexual assault in a maritime environment can be eligible for compensation under The Act. As with harassment cases, the injured party must show evidence that the negligence of their employer contributed directly to the assault.
This can include allegations of inadequate security protocols, negligent hiring or training practices, or even a failure to sufficiently address previous complaints of assault or harassment.
To build the strongest case for sexual assault under The Jones Act, it’s critical to work with attorneys who are highly experienced with maritime injury law.
The Importance of Reporting Sexual Harassment or Assault
Reporting any instances of sexual harassment or sexual assault while working in the maritime industry is essential for making sure those responsible are held accountable for their actions, as well as for reducing future incidents.
Victims should immediately report the incident to their supervisor, employer, or appropriate law enforcement agency. Prompt reporting is also a cornerstone of a strong case for a Jones Act claim.
Consult The Maritime Injury Law Firm for Your Jones Act Claim
If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment or assault while working in the maritime industry, working with a skilled maritime attorney is invaluable. Not only do they have a wealth of professional experience, but they can help you navigate the often complex process of filing a Jones Act claim.
They’ll help you gather evidence, strengthen your case, and secure the compensation you deserve. Reach out to The Maritime Injury Law Firm today to discuss the details of your case in a safe and confidential environment with an experienced professional.