This part sets forth the procedures for, and interpretations of, the Seaman's Protection Act (SPA), 46 U.S.C. 2114, as amended, which protects a seaman from retaliation because the seaman has engaged in protected activity pertaining to compliance with maritime safety laws and accompanying regulations. SPA incorporates the procedures, requirements, and rights described in the whistleblower provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA), 49 U.S.C. 31105.
This part establishes procedures pursuant to the statutory provisions set forth above for the expeditious handling of retaliation complaints filed by seamen or persons acting on their behalf. These rules, together with those rules codified at 29 CFR part 18, set forth the procedures for submission of complaints, investigations, issuance of findings and preliminary orders, objections to findings, litigation before administrative law judges (ALJs), post-hearing administrative review, withdrawals and settlements, and judicial review and enforcement. In addition, these rules provide the Secretary's interpretations on certain statutory issues.
[78 FR 8402, February 6, 2013]