Defense Base Act Coverage for US Government Contractors Working in Japan
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 25, 2011
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, various agencies of the United States may utilize the services of private contractors to provide humanitarian and other assistance as part of the global relief effort there. Workers for such private contractors are covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA) (except for certain specified instances where the Department of Labor has granted a waiver). Agency contracting personnel and private contractors should ensure that the proper DBA insurance is in place before workers are deployed overseas.
The Secretary of Labor may waive the application of the Defense Base Act for 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. However, even when a waiver is granted, DOL conditions the waiver such that it does not exempt from DBA coverage citizens of the U.S., legal residents of the U.S., or employees hired in the U.S .
The Department of Labor has granted the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State (DOS) a DBA waiver for contracts for work performed in Japan.
The Department of Labor has not granted a DBA waiver to any other US government agency for work performed in Japan. All non DOD and DOS contractor employers with employees deployed in Japan must purchase DBA insurance coverage for those employees.
6. Is Radiation Exposure covered under DBA ?
Yes, the DBA covers all injuries, occupational diseases, or infections that arise out of or result from employment exposures. An injury or illness causally related to radiation exposure is covered under the DBA, even if the medical condition is not diagnosed for many years after the employment. In order to qualify for benefits, the employee is required to establish employment under a US government contract, that he was harmed by the employment, and that the employment conditions were such that they could have caused the harm.