Labor & Employment Maritime

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Registration of Cyprus Ships

Cyprus is a leading forum in the international maritime industry mostly due to its attractive tax system for ship owners and ship managers and due to its ratification of major international maritime conventions. Cyprus is...more

Fifth Circuit Rules Only a Seaman Can Commit Seaman’s Manslaughter

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court serves as a good reminder that criminal statutes say only what they say, and that it is up to the legislature to revise statutes to expand their scope...more

OWCP on Verge of Amending Regulations to Include Electronic Submissions

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the Department of Labor Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP) filed in the Federal Register (Volume 80, No. 48) a direct final rule and request for comments with regard to changes to OWCP...more

Executive Labor Summary - February / March 2015

Massive labor disputes on two of three U.S. coasts - Large scale industry-wide labor disputes were in the news daily in early 2015. A West Coast port labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

West Coast Ports Labor Turmoil - Time to Dust Off That Overlooked Force Majeure Clause?

The simmering labor dispute between the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents West Coast port owners, has begun to capture the attention of businesses that have...more

Fifth Circuit Clarifies Rules on Seamen Who Provide False Information During Pre-Employment Physicals

The U. S. Fifth Circuit recently held that an injured seaman was precluded from recovering maintenance and cure where he intentionally provided false information during a pre-employment physical conducted by a previous...more

What if the West Coast Ports Shut Down by Lockout or Strike? Is it Time to Invoke Taft-Hartley?

Since the expiration of a labor contract in July 2014, negotiations for a new contract have dragged on between management representatives of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)—a multi-employer bargaining association...more

Mainbrace - January 2015 No. 1

In this issue: - A Sea Change Sweeps over Congress: A Look Back and a Look Ahead - Shipping & International Trade Law (Second Edition 2015) - Congress Passes Coast Guard Bill in Waning Hours of 113th...more

Fifth Circuit upholds “seamen” exemption and dismisses “day-rate” FLSA collective action suit.

A wave of FLSA collective (class) actions have been filed against scores of marine shipping and towing companies in the Gulf States for violation of the FLSA. Specifically, these suits claim that the commonly used “day-rate”...more

When In Doubt, File the Limitation Complaint (Part III): The Test Is Reasonable Possibility

On December 3, 2014, the Fifth Circuit, in In re: RLB Contracting, Inc., No. 14–40326 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2014), concluded that an ongoing exchange of correspondence between counsel for a dredge involved in a maritime casualty...more

New Jones Act Enforcement Initiative

Action Item: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued a Notice to the Area Port of New Orleans Trade Community on November 12, 2014, announcing electronic online reporting of possible Jones Act violations. Owners and...more

Fifth Circuit: No Overtime Pay for Crewmember Tankermen

On November 13, 2014, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Coffin v. Blessey Marine Services, Incorporated, Case No. 13-20144, that individuals who loaded and unloaded tank barges as part of their duties as crew of...more

Fifth Circuit Refuses Application of Bright-Line Test in FLSA Seaman Exemption Dispute

On November 13, 2014, the Fifth Circuit handed down its opinion in Coffin v. Blessey Marine Services, Inc., No. 13-20144, 2014 WL 5904734 (5th Cir. Nov. 13, 2014). The opinion addressed several key factors related to the...more

Avast! – Tankermen Held To Be Seamen Exempt From FLSA Overtime Pay Requirements

In a much and long anticipated ruling, the Fifth Circuit in Coffin v. Blessey Marine Services, Inc., No. 13-20144 (5th Cir. Nov. 13, 2014), has held as a matter of law that vessel-based tankermen (specially...more

Fifth Circuit Maritime Case Will Set National Standard

In McBride v. Estis Well Service LLC, a divided Fifth Circuit sitting en banc held that punitive damages are not recoverable by an injured seaman or his heirs under the Jones Act or general maritime law of...more

Maritime Bulletin: Fifth Circuit Rules on McBride

The Fifth Circuit issued its en banc decision in Estis v. McBride Well Service, LLC, No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. September 25, 2014) and ruled that a Jones Act seaman’s recovery is limited to pecuniary losses where liability is...more

Recent Issues Raised Regarding Payment of Seafarers Via Payroll Cards

We understand that some questions regarding the payment of seafarers’ wages through payroll cards were raised during the first meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee established by the Governing Body of the International...more

Injured Sailors May Seek Punitive Damages in the Asbestos MDL

U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who oversees asbestos multidistrict litigation, issued a decision in July permitting injured sailors to seek punitive damage awards. In Re:...more

Don’t Stress, You’re Not Covered: Court Denies Recovery Under Jones Act for Work-Related Stress

The Eleventh Circuit in Skye v. Maersk Line, Ltd. held seamen cannot recover for work-related stress under the Jones Act. Is work-related stress starting to take its toll? ...more

Asbestos MDL Court Concludes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Allowed for Seaman But Not for a Seaman’s Personal...

In a consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held in In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), MDL 875, that...more

A Beach Vacation from the Longshore Act

In an unpublished per curiam decision, Global Management Enterprises, LLC v. Commerce & Industry Insurance Company, No. 13-31249, filed June 23, 2014, Judges Davis, Benavides and Prado determined that a worker who was injured...more

A Day At The Beach: Fifth Circuit Rejects Expansive Situs Definition For LHWCA Comp In BP Beach Cleaning Case

The Fifth Circuit recently reversed, per curiam, a district court decision finding that a contract worker cleaning oiled beaches near Grand Isle, Louisiana, in the wake of the 2010 Macondo oil spill qualified as a...more

Recent Developments in Maritime Punitive Damages

In 2009, in Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc. v. Townsend, the Supreme Court “sea tossed” the law of maritime damages when it held that punitive damages are recoverable for an employer’s willful and wanton failure to provide a...more

Workers' Compensation Alert: WC Board Appellate Division Update

In Bolstridge v. AGM Marine Contractors, Inc., Me. WCB App. Div. No. 14-14, the Appellate Division overturned a WCB decision which had found the WCB had personal jurisdiction over AGM Marine, a Massachusetts corporation....more

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