Handley Farah & Anderson has filed claims with the U.S. Department of Labor seeking compensation for several Nepali and Peruvian security guards who were grievously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan while working for U.S. defense contractors Aegis LLC and Triple Canopy. The lawsuit alleges that months and years of long hours and exposure to dangerous and hazardous conditions have left these workers with a variety of long term injuries, including loss of hearing and post-traumatic stress disorder, preventing them from finding similar work. The lawsuit alleges that these men -- part of a massive security guard force staffed by laborers from developing countries and working under U.S. government contractors -- were paid little more than $1,000 per month for their dangerous work, and ultimately left Iraq and Afghanistan with minimal compensation for their injuries and occupational illnesses.
A grotesque by-product of globalization, the fuel powering worldwide industry is increasingly a workforce of migrant and exploited labor. The laborers who secure U.S. embassies and other sensitive locations, construct foreign public works projects, provide food and laundry services to military contractors, and ensure that homes and workplaces abroad are clean and safe, often come from the developing world, seeking to support their families back in a country that offers few jobs.
A federal law—the Defense Base Act—requires U.S. government contractors and their subcontractors to provide financial compensation to foreign employees, such as the Peruvian and Nepali workers described here, when they are killed or injured. The matters are currently pending before the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.
If you have any questions concerning these cases or would like to share your experience working abroad for a U.S. contractor, please contact Matthew Handley at 202-559-2411 or [email protected].