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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OWCP News Release: [01/31/2013]
Contact Name: Adriano Llosa
Phone Number: (202) 693-693-4686
Release Number: 13-0189-NAT

US Department of Labor reaches settlement with contractor on failure to report injuries and fatalities under Defense Base Act

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs today announced a $75,000 settlement with The Sandi Group/Corporate Bank Financial Services for failure to report in a timely manner on the injuries and deaths of 30 employees in Iraq between 2003 and 2005.

Under the Defense Base Act, a company must report any injury or death to OWCP's Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation within 10 days, and any knowing and willful failure to report subjects the employer to a civil penalty. In the settlement, The Sandi Group agreed not only to pay the $75,000 fine but that future violations would result in greater penalties.

"Timely reporting of work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities are vitally important to protect the interests of injured workers and their families," said Gary A. Steinberg, acting director of OWCP. "In the case of injuries and illnesses, this enables timely medical treatment, payment of compensation benefits and, when possible, return to work, and for fatalities, timely issuance of death benefits for eligible survivors. The Labor Department is committed to administering the provisions of the Defense Base Act, which provide necessary medical care and compensation benefits that hold workers and families together during moments of hardship."

The Sandi Group, a Washington, D.C.-based company, employed workers that provided security and other services in support of U.S. operations in Iraq.

The Defense Base Act provides workers' compensation protection to civilian employees working outside the United States on U.S. military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public work or for national defense. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/lsdba.htm.

The mission of OWCP's Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation is to minimize the impact of employment-related injuries, illnesses and deaths on employees and their families by ensuring that workers' compensation benefits are provided promptly and properly under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Defense Base Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Non-appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/index.htm.