Maritime Labor & Employment

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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In an unpublished per curiam decision, Global Management Enterprises, LLC v. Commerce & Industry Insurance Company, No. 13-31249, filed June 23, 2014, Judges Davis, Benavides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

Potential West Coast Port Labor Disruptions Loom Large for Importers and Exporters, Including Those of FDA-Regulated Products

On July 1st, the contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) officially expired, increasing the potential of a work stoppage and cargo disruption at West...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

When Can Twelve Turn into Twenty-Four? Calculation of FMLA Leave for Vessel-Based Employees

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) ensures an employee the ability to take leave and return to work within twelve “workweeks” of a qualifying event. Employers that do not honor the protections of the FMLA risk a...more

That’s Not My Kid! Board Clarifies Definition Of “Child” Under The Longshore Act

On February 25, 2014, the Benefits Review Board rendered its decision in Smith v. Mt. Mitchell, LLC, ____BRBS____ (D.O.L. Ben. Rev. Bd. Feb. 25, 2014), which affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s decision and order,...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 17, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions yesterday morning. After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term’s opinions are a...more

District Court Extends Fifth Circuit’s Naquin Decision to Barge Cleaning/Repair Employee

As previously reported (regarding the Naquin decision), the Fifth Circuit recently expanded the scope of Jones Act seaman status to include a shipyard worker who spent 70% of his time working aboard vessels (usually moored to...more

Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra: The Hercules Removal Jurisprudence Sprouts Yet Another Head

In yet another twist in the tortured labors of the Hercules jurisprudence regarding removal of general maritime law claims under 28 U.S.C. §1441(a), the Eastern District of Louisiana has generated a new, divergent “head” on...more

All That Floats is Not A Boat: Eastern District of Louisiana Jettisons Fifth Circuit’s Holmes Decision, Rules That Quarter Barge...

The three men in the tub will no longer have recourse to the federal courts’ admiralty jurisdiction, at least not in the Eastern District of Louisiana. In Martin v. Fab-Con, Inc., 2014 WL 1246073 (E.D. La. Mar. 24, 2014) – a...more

Foundering On "Sea-Tossed" Waters? The Fifth Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing in Estis

After making a splash in October of 2013 with a landmark ruling in McBride v. Estis Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505, 517 (5th Cir. 2013) "that punitive damages remain available to seamen as a remedy for the general...more

The Removal of the Ancient Mariner - Reprising a Sea-Change in Admiralty Law

As originally discussed in a recent post on Striding the Quarterdeck (December 9, 2013), amendments to 28 U.S.C. §1441 have effected a sea-change in admiralty procedure by ostensibly allowing removal of general maritime law...more

Validity And Enforceability Of Seaman’s Release

The recent ruling in Double J. Marine, LLC v. Matthew Nuber, No. 13-5825 (E.D. La. Dec. 11, 2013) serves as a key reminder that employers need to be mindful that courts scrutinize release agreements as seamen are the wards of...more

Be Aware of OSHA's New Proposed Rule on Silica

On August 23rd, OSHA released the long awaited proposed rule on silica. The proposed regulation would split the regulation of silica into two separate standards, one affecting the general and maritime industries and the other...more

OSHA Finally Releases Proposed New Rule on Silica Exposure

On August 23, 2013 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a proposed new rule on silica exposure. Public comments on the proposed rule are due no later than 90 days from publication in the Federal...more

Fifth Circuit Narrows “Adjoining Area” Definition In LHWCA Jurisdiction Test

On April 29, 2013, the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion for the en banc Court in New Orleans Depot Services, Inc. v. Director OWCP, 718 F.3d 384 (5th Cir. 2013) that effectively reformulated the 1972 situs jurisdictional...more

Virginia Supreme Court decision reversing $17.5 million asbestos verdict against ExxonMobil Corp. stands

On June 10, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept the appeal of a case dealing with the duty of ship owners, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. §§ 901, et seq.), to intervene in...more

Ship’s Navigator Sentenced To Four Years For Criminal Negligence

A B.C. ship’s navigator has been sentenced to four years after he was convicted of criminal negligence causing death for dereliction of duty leading to his ship colliding with an island....more

Working Hard Or Hardly Working? The Definition Of “Rest” And Towing Vessel Work-Hour Limitations

An often contentious issue in maritime litigation involving both personal injury and property damage is whether the wheelman in charge of a towing vessel that exceeds 26' violated the so-called “twelve-hour rule.” According...more

Bureau Of Safety And Environmental Enforcement Announces New Rule For Safety And Environmental Management Systems

In an effort to reduce the occurrence of accidents, injuries and spills during oil and gas activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) of the U.S. Department of...more

I’ll Take “Not A Vessel” for $600, Alex: What Is A Tension Leg Platform?

In the wake of the revisited tests of vessel status by the Supreme Court in Stewart vs. Dutra Construction Company, 543 U.S. 481 (2005) and Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Fla., 133 S.Ct. 735 (2013), it remains to be seen...more

Shipbuilders Council of America and OSHA Settle Lawsuit, OSHA Issues First Interpretation Letter for Shipyard Industry on Subpart...

On August 1, 2011, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards for General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment (1915, Subpart F) became effective. These standards included requirements covering...more

Florida Port Strike May Not Happen As Negotiations Continue Into 2013: News Release of the Week

Florida's economy needs its active and efficient ports and while on one hand, there's construction underway to make Port Miami big enough to deal with the increased traffic coming from the Panama Canal expansion, on the other...more

ILA-USMX Contract Extended 30 Days

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) agreed on a 30-day extension of the current coast-wide master contract, temporarily shielding East and Gulf Coast ports from...more

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