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Federal Employers' Liability Act: United States Constitution,State & Federal Statutes, and Legislative History

Resources on Federal & State Statutes

The Constitution of the United States:  The United States Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate matters concerning interstate commerce. U. S. CONST. art. 1, § 8, cl. 3.  The text of the United States Constitution is also available online at


United States Code:  Annotated commercial versions of the United States Code such as United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) and United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.) are available in print or online, and feature annotated references to cases, related regulations, secondary sources, editorial comments on the law, finding aids, and so on.  These unofficial versions of the United States Code are generally updated much more frequently than the official Code and have other features that can make them more accessible to researchers with limited legal experience.  Use of such resources is highly recommended where possible and appropriate. The links provided below are to suggested online resources.  Print versions are generally available in the Library’s collection.  Consult the Library’s Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) or a Reference Librarian for more information regarding this material:


United States Code; United States Code Annotated (Westlaw); United States Code Service (Lexis+):


Title 28.  Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

28 U.S.C. § 1391. Venue generally.

28 U.S.C. § 1404.  Change of venue.

28 U.S.C. § 1445.  Nonremovable actions.


                        Title 28.  Judiciary and Judicial Procedure—Appendix.

Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure


Title 33.  Navigation and Navigable Waters.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act:  33 U.S.C.§§ 901-950.  Provides for compensation of an employee injured upon the navigable waters of the United States, including such related facilities as a marine railway.  See 33 U.S.C. § 903(a). 


Title 45.  Railroads.

Federal Employers’ Liability Act: 45 U.S.C. §§ 51-60.

Railway Labor Act: 45 U.S.C. §§ 151-188.


Title 46.  Shipping.

See 46 U.S.C. §§ 30104-30106, popularly known as the “Jones Act”; § 30104 states:  “A seaman injured in the course of employment . . . may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer. Laws of the United States regulating recovery for personal injury to, or death of, a railway employee apply to an action under this section.”  46 U.S.C. § 30104 (2008).  Actions brought pursuant to this section of the U.S. Code can shed light on the application of the FELA; consult an annotated U.S. Code as described above.


Title 49.  Transportation.

Title 49.  Transportation. 

Subtitle V.  Rail Programs.  

Part A—Safety.  

See 49 U.S.C. §§ 20101-21311


State Statues:  Although the substantive federal law controls in FELA actions, and federal laws governing rail safety largely preempt state law, state statutes may still be relevant to certain FELA actions.  Research state statues using the appropriate state code in print or online.  For Pennsylvania statutes, see Purdon’s Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated in print (KFP30 1930 .A44) and an online version of this resource available from Westlaw.  An annotated version of Pennsylvania statutes is also available on Lexis+


Legislative History:  Legislative history resources may be useful in interpreting relevant statutes regarding the FELA.  Beside the suggested websites, there are many print resources for researching this material available in the Library.  Ask a Reference Librarian for assistance in this field.


United States Code Congressional and Administrative News


Congressional Record (also available on Heinonline)


ProQuest Congressional


Heinonline:  U.S. Federal Legislative History Library