Foreign Commerce

The Commerce Clause also grants the right to regulate commerce “with foreign Nations.”

Because the overseas shipping industry has always been an important part of American foreign commerce, Congress has passed several laws regulating this industry’s treatment of workers. Those laws related to workers’ compensation are:

  • Jones Act — Among many other provisions, established workers’ compensation for people whose work involves being on a ship at least 30% of the time
    • Think Davy Jones! Pirates need workers’ compensation, too.
  • U.S. Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act — Established workers’ compensation for marine shipment workers who perform less than 30% of their work at sea aboard a ship

Workers are classified under either law according the situs & status test. Situs: the location where work occurs — Status: the type of work performed

The Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) provides workers’ compensation for people who cross the border to work.