Each Act covers a different set of workers. With exceptions, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which is Federal law, applies to “any person engaged in maritime employment, including any longshoreman or other person engaged in longshoring operations, and any harbor-worker including a ship repairman, shipbuilder, and ship-breaker….” Section 902(3). One of the most important exceptions is for “a master or member of a crew of any vessel.” Section 902(3)(G). The rights of these individuals are governed by the Jones Act and Admiralty Law.
Florida’s workers’ compensation laws are contained in Chapter 440 of Florida’s Statutes. They govern the rights of almost every other type of worker employed in the state. Federal employees do not fall under Florida’s workers’ compensation system.
While the LHWCA and Florida’s Chapter 440 are strikingly similar in many respects, one significant difference involves physician selection. Under Section 907(b) of the LHWCA, “[t]he employee shall have the right to choose an attending physician….” In contrast, the employer/carrier selects the treating physicians in Florida’s system. Section 440.13 Florida Statutes.