Unfortunately, sexual harassment and sexual assualt are problems in almost every indusry. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) cites a study that found that 44% of women and 19% of men have experienced some form of unwanted sexual attention in the workplace in the last two years.
Maritime workers reasonably expect that their employer will keep them safe from sexual misconduct. For seamen, the Jones Act provides a remedy should sexual assault or physical sexual abuse occur while on navigable waters. Here, our Houston maritime lawyers provide an overview of the most important things you should know about the Jones Act and victims’ rights.
Three Things to Know About The Jones Act and Maritime Sexual Abuse
- The Jones Act Protects Many Maritime Workers
The Jones Act provides coverage to seamen who work aboard vessels. For the most part, employees who work on ships, tugboats, fishing vessels, barges, and other types of ship that operate in navigable waters are covered by the Jones Act. The core purpose of the federal law is to encourage maritime employers to create a safe and secure environment for their employees.
- Sexual Assault Injuries May be Covered by the Jones Act
The Jones Act allows maritime workers to bring a fault-based claim against an employer. Seaman who are injured during the course of their employment have a legal right to sue their company for personal injury damages under the law. To hold an employer accountable, a seaman must prove that their employer’s negligence contributed to their injuries.
Notably, maritime employers have a duty to protect seamen from risks posed by third parties. Companies covered by the Jones Act can be held responsible for criminal attacks perpetrated by the victim’s co-worker, a supervisor, or another person who was aboard the vessel. A worker aboard a vessel who was raped, sexually assaulted, or otherwise physically abused should review every option to get justice and financial compensation.
- Statute of Limitations: Three Years From Last Incident
Under the Jones Act, physical injury claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. If you were the victim of workplace sexual abuse, you have three years from the date of the last incident to file a civil claim under the Jones Act. The statute of limitations is strict: If you fail to bring a claim before the deadline passes, your case will be dismissed without a review on the merits. Protect your rights by speaking to a Texas maritime attorney as soon as possible.
Get Help From a Jones Act Lawyer in Houston, TX
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Texas maritime attorneys are compassionate, experienced advocates for victims. We will protect your rights. To schedule a free, completely confidential initial consultation, please contact us for immediate help. With an office in Houston, we are conveniently located to serve communities throughout the Southeast Texas, including Galveston, Texas City, Port Arthur, Beaumont, Lake Charles, Baytown, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and Pasadena.