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What is the employer’s posting requirement under the DBA?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
The DBA incorporates the LHWCA’s provision that every employer who has secured compensation under the Act must keep posted in a conspicuous place in and about its place of business typewritten or printed notice on Forms LS-241 (Notice to Employees) or LS-242 (Notice to Employees for Self-Insured Employers). Such notice must also contain the name and address of the employer representative to whom notice of injury is given, and the carrier, if any, with whom the employer has secured payment of compensation and the date of the expiration of the policy.

Can an employer voluntarily provide DBA benefits even if a waiver is in place?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
Yes. There is no prohibition against providing DBA coverage for waived employees.

How does one obtain a waiver?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
The request for waiver must be made in writing on Form BEC 565, Request for Waiver-Defense Base Act, by the head of a department or agency of the United States government. The Form BEC 565 and other pertinent information should be submitted to the Director, OWCP, U.S. Department of Labor, ESA/OWCP, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Rm C-4315, Washington, DC 20210.

Copies of the Form BEC 565 may be obtained in writing from the Director, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, at the same address, by email DLHWC-Public@dol.gov, or by calling the Longshore National Office at (202) 693-0038.

What is a waiver?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
The Secretary of Labor may waive application of the Defense Base Act with respect to any contract, work location, or class of employees upon the written request of the head of any department or other agency of the United States. It is Department of Labor policy that waivers do not apply to citizens or legal residents of the U.S. or to employees hired in the U.S. In addition, once granted, the waiver is only valid if alternative workers’ compensation benefits are provided to the waived employees pursuant to applicable local law. If there are no local workers’ compensation laws, the waiver has no effect and local and foreign nationals working under a U.S. contract are covered under the DBA.

Does the Department of Labor regulate DBA insurance premium rates?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
The Department of Labor has no authority to regulate insurance premium rates. All authorized carriers are regulated by the states in which they operate.

What if an employer fails to secure payment of compensation as required by the DBA?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
If an employer fails to secure payment of compensation, an injured employee, or his/her survivors in case of death, may elect to sue the employer for tort damages on account of such injury or death. In such action the defendant may not plead as a defense that the injury was caused by the negligence of a fellow servant, or that the employee assumed the risk of his employment, or that the injury was due to the contributory negligence of the employee.

In addition, an employer who fails to secure the payment of compensation when required shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. If the employer is a corporation, the president, secretary, and treasurer shall also be severally liable for such fine and imprisonment. These three corporate officers shall also be personally liable, jointly and severally with the corporation, for any compensation or other benefit payable under the Act with respect to the injury or death of any of its employees.

Must an employer acquire DBA coverage for foreign nationals?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
Yes. Benefits under the DBA are payable regardless of nationality. Therefore, employers should secure insurance coverage for all of their employees working outside the United States under a U.S. government contract, including U.S. citizens and residents, host country nationals (local hires), and third country nationals (hired from another country to perform work in the host country).

Who is authorized to write DBA coverage?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
The OWCP is responsible for the authorization of insurance carriers and self-insurance of employers. Over one hundred insurance carriers have been authorized to write Defense Base Act coverage. For a list of the currently authorized insurance carriers, seehttp://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/dlhwc/lscarrier.htm.

 

Currently three major insurance carriers provide most of the Defense Base Act insurance coverage. They are ACE USA Companies, American International Group (AIG) Companies, and CNA.

How do I contact the OWCP district office?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
The DBA jurisdictional boundaries and the corresponding district office contact information can be viewed athttp://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/dlhwc/dbajurisdictions.htm. The contact information for other Longshore district offices can be viewed athttp://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/dlhwc/lscontac.htm.

What are the insurance requirements under the DBA?

Posted on: November 5, 2012
The insurance requirements under the DBA are identical to those found in the LHWCA. The Longshore Act requires every employer (including contractors and subcontractors) either to secure insurance for the payment of workers’ compensation benefits provided under the Act or to be permissibly self-insured. If a subcontractor fails to secure the payment of compensation, the contractor will be liable and will be required to secure the payment of such benefits.
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