When Does a Seaman’s Entitlement to Wages & Provisions Begin?
Under 46 U.S. Code Sec. 10313, a seaman’s entitlement to wages and provisions begins when the seaman starts their work. Alternatively, the entitlement to wages and provisions may also start as specified in their agreement that is required under Sec. 10302. In such an agreement, the time that the seaman will begin work (or must be present onboard) will be determined, and the entitlement to wages and provisions begins on whichever date is earlier. There may be instances where your employer requires that you be present onboard, but they will only compensate you for your time once you start working. Generally, this is an unacceptable form of wage theft that could entitle you to compensation. One of the most effective ways to determine what you might be entitled to through a wage claim or lawsuit is to speak with an experienced merchant seaman penalty wage statutes lawyer.