Seaman's Protection Act (46 U.S.C. §2114)

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Seaman's Protection Act (46 U.S.C. §2114):

This Act applies to US Flag vessels and to vessels owned by a US citizen or by an entity whose controlling interest is owned by a US citizen.  This includes many yachts. Even though the yacht is titled in the name of a Cayman, British Virgin Island, Marshal Island, or other "offshore" entity, if that "offshore" entity is owned by a US entity or citizen, the Act applies to the yacht and its practices. 

1986.101(d) Citizen of the United States means an individual who is a national of the United States as defined in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(22)); a corporation incorporated under the laws of the United States or a State; a corporation, partnership, association, or other business entity if the controlling interest is owned by citizens of the United States or whose principal place of business or base of operations is in a State; or a governmental entity of the Federal Government of the United States, of a State, or of a political subdivision of a State. The controlling interest in a corporation is owned by citizens of the United States if a majority of the stockholders are citizens of the United States. 

A person may not discharge or in any other manner retaliate against a seaman because the seaman:
• Provided information relating to a violation of maritime safety laws or regulations to the U.S. Coast Guard or other appropriate Federal agency or department; refused to lie to the Government about such matters; was about to provide such information (including situations in which the seaman provides information to the employer and says he or she plans to report to the authorities or when he or she has a history of such reporting); or sought the correction of a condition which he or she reasonably believes could result in serious injury or serious impairment of health;
• Testified in a proceeding brought to enforce a maritime safety law or regulation;
• Refused to perform duties ordered because of a reasonable apprehension of serious injury or serious impairment of health to the seaman, other seaman, or the public, if the seaman has first requested that the employer correct the dangerous condition;
• Notified or attempted to notify the vessel owner or the U.S. Coast Guard of a work-related injury or illness of a seaman;
• Cooperated with a safety investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard or the National Transportation Safety Board; • Furnished information to any public official relating to any marine casualty where there is death, injury or damage to property, occurring in connection with vessel transportation; or
• Accurately reported hours of duty under Part A, Subtitle II, Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the alleged unfavorable employment action occurs (that is, when the seaman is notified of the retaliatory action). 

Back pay
Special damages 
Punitive damages
Attorneys fees