The Defense Base Act (DBA) is an essential compensation program for longshoremen and harbor workers. Companies that hire people to work at defense bases overseas must ensure that their workers are aware of the program and how to acquire coverage from it in the event of an emergency.
With how much of an impact this law has had on the industry, employers have no excuse to violate the law in an attempt to save money or prevent the worker from getting the coverage they need. The United States Department of Labor notes that the employer will be primarily liable in how the Act is carried out, so workers need to keep an eye out for the following signs that their company could be violating the law:
When they lack proper insurance
All companies should carry the proper insurance. However, some companies underestimate the amount of coverage they need to help their workers active after an accident or act of negligence occurs in the workplace. This looks even worse when the employer fails to act upon their responsibilities to inform to the employees about critical details regarding the DBA.
There’s another potential pitfall.
The Department of Labor says that the employer violates the law if their insurance came from an unauthorized carrier or lacks DBA endorsement. Acquiring DBA insurance and posting notice should be one of the first actions a company takes before deploying workers overseas.
When they lie about a waiver in place
The Security of Labor can waive a DBA application upon the request of the head of any major department or agency of the government. This means that certain individuals are refrained from acquiring coverage under the law. Waivers affect workers that are not citizens of the U.S., legal residents of the U.S. or hired by the U.S. However, this can only come into effect for third country nationals if they can still receive compensation through their local laws. If they cannot, then they could be eligible for DBA coverage.
Some employers will claim there is a waiver in place in an effort to save money on DBA insurance. Depending on the individual’s local procedures, they could be missing out on critical insurance payments that could make the recovery process easier. If a worker receives a waive notice for their injury claim, they should contact the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC) to double check to see if it is truly in place.
Employers that fail to provide proper compensation payment to injured workers through the DBA could face criminal charges for their actions. In addition to their potential fines and prison time, you can file a lawsuit against them to acquire the coverage you need to heal from a devastating work injury with the help of an attorney.