If you are employed as a longshoreman or a harbor worker, you are covered under different worker’s compensation laws than other employees. Instead, you are covered under the Longshore Act, a federal law that covers the majority of employees who work on or near the water but are not seamen.

Who Is Covered Under the Longshoreman Act?

Anyone who works on docks, in shipping terminals or in shipyards who are not expected to sail on a seagoing vessel are covered under the Longshoreman Act. Seamen, who spend the majority of their time on vessels in navigation, are not covered under the act. In addition, some civilian employees on military bases are covered under the act pursuant to the Defense Base Act.

What Does the Act Cover?

The Longshoreman Act provides compensation similar to benefits provided by state workers’ compensation laws. If you are injured while performing your job duties, you are eligible for lost wages medical payments and other costs associated with your injury. The main difference between state workers’ compensation and the Longshoreman Act is that the act provides two-thirds, or 66-2/3 percent, of your weekly wages. State worker’s compensation benefits normally pay only 60 percent of the average weekly wage. The Longshoreman Act also provides for compensation if you are permanently partially disabled while state workers’ compensation requirements do not.

Exclusions to the Act

In order to be eligible for compensation, you must be performing maritime work for the employer and you must be performing that work on or near navigable water. This means that a large percentage of your job duties must be related to water or marine transport. Even drivers of trucks who carry shipping containers to and from the dock are covered under the act as well as the mechanics that work on the trucks. However, there are positions that are not eligible for coverage under the Longshoreman Act:

  • Shipbuilders constructing recreational vessels under 65 feet long
  • Marina employees not engaged in construction, replacement or expansion of the marina
  • Recreational vessel mechanics or repairmen
  • Aquaculture employees
  • Captains and crewmembers of vessels

If you or a loved one was working as a longshoreman or a harbor worker and were injured while performing your job duties, you may be eligible for coverage under the Longshoreman Act. Contact Lundy Law to learn what rights you may have under this law by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the simple form on our website.

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