When Can the Government Waive Defense Base Act Benefits?
Whether the US government can waive a worker’s rights to DBA benefits is a troubling question that is presented to our Defense Base Act attorneys from time to time. In this article our DBA lawyers explain if and when Defense Base Act Benefits can be waived, as well as what waivers are currently in effect.
Under certain circumstances the Secretary of Labor does have the authority to waive application of the Defense Base Act. But the good news is that this power is not absolute and unrestricted, and does not extend to US citizens.
The US Department of Labor Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC) grants the US Secretary of Labor the right to waive defense Base Act benefits “with respect to any contract, work location, or class of employees” upon a written request from the head of any department or agency of the United States.
However, it is the US Department of Labor’s official policy that Defense Base Act waivers cannot apply to:
- Citizens of the United States
- Legal residents of the United States
- Any employees who hired in the U.S., regardless of citizenship or residency
Additionally, any waiver – once it is granted – is only valid in situations where alternative workers’ compensation benefits are provided to the waived employee(s) under the local laws that apply.
In other words, if there are no local workers’ compensation laws that provide benefits for employees in the waived class, the waiver has no effect – meaning that local and foreign nationals who are working under a U.S. contract are still covered under the DBA.
Following is a list of active DBA waivers. The large number of these Defense Base Act waivers is somewhat surprising. However, keep in mind that none of these waivers can be applied to deny Defense Base Act Benefits to Citizens or legal residents of the United States.
Countries With Current Defense Base Act Waivers
Click On Any Country Name Below for a PDF of the Current Defense Base Act Waiver
Best Defense Base Act Attorneys
Our highly specialized Defense Base Act attorneys are committed to ensuring that every injured or disabled civilian employee obtains the benefits he or she has earned. We have successfully filed hundreds of Defense Base Act applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in DBA benefits in over four decades of legal service.
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