Employees can expect a certain amount of protection working in the United States. Most employees have outlets for workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. This protection has taken years of hard work by employees and the groups that support their interests. It would be shameful if those rights that employees come to expect in the US were lost if employed by the US government overseas.
With this in mind, the Defense Base Act was created to protect the rights of contracted workers who are employed overseas on military bases working as civilians. The Defense Base Act became law in 1941 as civilians began travelling all over the world in defense of the United States. Protecting the rights of citizens who are working outside of the continental United States is an important step, especially in war time situations in which the likelihood of on-site injuries may be higher.
Getting injured on the job, no matter where you are employed, can be an extremely frustrating situation. Being injured in a foreign environment without the comfort of known surroundings or loved ones can be a discouraging situation, but knowing that the same protections and rights to workers’ compensation that you would have in the US are shared on a defense base can alleviate some of anxiety that may surround your situation.
The Defense Base Act is put in place to protect you as an employee even if you are not working in the continental US. Ensure that your rights are being fulfilled by your employer.