The DBA allows the Secretary of Labor, upon the recommendation of the head of a department, to waive its application “to any contract, subcontract or subordinate contract, work location under such contracts, or classification of employees.” DOL will not grant a waiver for citizens or legal residents of the United States and employees hired in the United States, but it will grant waivers for foreign nationals, if acceptable workers compensation benefits are provided by applicable local law.
Presently, individual contracting organizations within the Department prepare and process waiver requests to DOL; there is generally no higher Defense Department-level coordination or administration of requests for, or granting of, such waivers.
The Secretary of Labor may, at the request of a federal agency, grant a waiver that exempts a firm from DBA if the firm can demonstrate that an alternative or local workers’ compensation system that provides benefits in the case of disability or death is in place to cover the firm’s employees with benefits equal to local laws. In Iraq and Afghanistan and in some other territories no applicable local laws yet exist, so locals are subject to DBA provisions. Special provisions exist for handling claims involving locals and third country nationals.
However DBA waivers do not apply to:
– US citizens or nationals (no matter where hired).
– US legal residents (green card holders), no matter where hired.
– Anyone physically hired in the United States.
If a worker is not covered by another compensation act for any reason, employers face penalties.