There are things that happen to contractors, Third Country Nationals, who work for the U.S. Government and don’t know that they work for the U.S. Government because they were hired by subcontractors and employed by contractors. But if they are injured, third Country nationals are covered by the DBA if the ultimate employer is the U.S. Government in a military war zone.
The contractors go out to small villages, cities in third world countries and hire illiterate, uneducated, very poor people to work as civilian contractors in very dangerous war zones where the U.S. has military bases.
Third Country Nationals Covered by DBA
When the Third Country Nationals are injured, get sick or are killed, they’re covered by The Defense Base Act and they and their families, their spouses are due the financial compensation, the death benefits owed to them.
This is a video about this issue and it’s hiding the identity of the person speaking for their own protection. You may watch the video called, “Third Country Nationals Covered by Defense Base Act” on The Garfinkel Schwartz YouTube Channel.
It’s something that not too many folks from the states can relate to that this kind of thing goes on across the world.
Americans Would Be Shocked at What Happens
And a lot of it is culturally on as far as how they’re treated. But we would be surprised if not shocked at the fact where it wouldn’t be uncommon if somebody received a deep gash in their arm from working and then they were lucky they got the bleeding stopped.
And they were shipped out and replaced by somebody and that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow over there and that would be considered normal.
There have been people who you hear about quite often that the company that they were working for they got injured so they’re sent out for medical treatment.
If they’re Filipino or Indian they’re going to have to end up going through the United Arab Emirates just because of flights and for medical treatment.
And they were promised where they would be met there and they would get treatment there and when they got to the UAE they were left on their own.
Nowhere to Go, No One to Help Sick, Injured People
Didn’t have a ticket to go anywhere else didn’t have anybody meet them. And it’s common enough to where the different embassies for some of these countries have offices setup to help their ex-patriates or what are deemed foreign workers. Where even some of the remains of people that are killed that are over there it’s up the embassies the embassies often have to sit and arrange for the bodies to be sent back home.
Or quite a few times it’s actually the little communities of fellow Filipinos that work over there that contribute money to send money back to the families or in a few cases pay for those fellow Filipinos that they’ve never met but fellow countrymen as they call them that they’ve come over thinking that they have a job but nobody meets them.
They’re left stranded so they take it upon themselves and they donate quite a bit of their earnings just to try to help out one another. It’s seemingly a close-knit community.
Very Few Know About the Defense Base Act
They’re I think very few of them are aware or have ever heard what the Defense Base Act is. But quite a few times you’ve got third country nationals that are working under these contracts or are sub-contractors that are doing the actual labor especially if it’s construction projects that legitimately would be covered and they’re not informed and they have no idea that they’re entitled to medical coverage of any type.
With the exception of some of the larger companies the vast majority at some of the facilities, it’s not like you have a break room that would have a listing of your rights under OSHA or a poster that would sit there, “in case you break your arm call,” and give the number for a state workers compensation claim.
DBA Laws Help with Shared Information
In most of these cases OSHA doesn’t apply, state workers compensation there’s none of these other U.S. laws that would apply here don’t apply there.
And as a result you may have a break room or whatever else and there may be things posted. But I’ve yet to see on any facility I’ve ever been, anything posted on your rights under the Department of Labor—I’m sorry—for the Defense Base Act of where to file a form and how to go about doing it.