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Hotline Information

Glossary of Terms

  • Black Lung Benefits Act (Black Lung) fraud: Black Lung is a federal program that provides monthly payments and medical treatment benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis (Black Lung) arising from their employment in or around the nation's coal mines; and monthly payments to eligible surviving dependents. Fraud schemes associated with this program includes false claims to obtain survivor benefits and stealing benefit checks.
  • Criminal abuse of union power: May involve union finances or property; unauthorized perks and compensation; vendor kickbacks and/or no-show jobs.
  • Davis-Bacon fraud: The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 is a federal law which established the requirements for paying prevailing wages on public works projects. All federally funded construction projects over $2,000 must include provisions for paying workers no less than what the locally prevailing wages and benefits would be on similar projects. Federal contractors are required to submit certified payrolls showing that the workers are receiving the prevailing wage. If there are allegations that a federal contractor is not paying the prevailing wage or is committing certified payroll fraud, the allegations may be reported to the OIG Hotline.
  • Department of Labor employee misconduct: Allegations of misconduct by employees may include:
    • Bribery : The offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing an action or the discharge of official duties.
    • Conflict of Interest : A clash between DOL interests and the private interest of an official that may influence the performance of the official’s duties.
    • Embezzlement : Fraudulent appropriation of DOL property by one lawfully trusted to protect its possession.
    • Mismanagement : Extravagant, careless, or needless expenditure of government funds or the consumption or misuse of government property or resources, resulting from deficient practices, systems, controls or decisions.
    • Misuse of DOL property
    • Misuse of funds/credit cards
    • Falsification of official documents
  • Embezzlement: Theft from union plan assets which include pension, welfare or health plans. Schemes include allowing ineligible people to participate or payment of charges for services not provided.
  • Energy Employees' Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) fraud: Energy employees compensation program is a federal program in which benefits to eligible employees and former employees of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors or to certain survivors of such individuals are entitled to medical benefits. Fraud schemes associated with this program includes allegations of false claims to obtain compensation.
  • Extortion : Deprivation of union member rights by threat of physical or economic harm. The rights of union members include nominating and voting for candidates; attending membership meetings; fair and just grievance procedures; working at or above the prevailing wage; participation in benefit plans; and the right to examine books and records.
  • Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) fraud: FECA is the federal government workers’ compensation program and the program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Allegations that false FECA claims have been filed or that a federal employee is committing OWCP benefit fraud should be reported to the OIG Hotline.
  • Foreign labor certification fraud: The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) provides labor certifications to employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States. Visa fraud includes fraud and abuse of the Department’s temporary visa programs (including H1B fraud, H2A fraud, and H2B fraud) and the Permanent labor certification program. Fraud and abuse includes the filing of fraudulent labor certification applications (i.e. ETA 750) or immigration fraud by attorneys or employers who file false applications and provide falsified documents to the OFLC.
  • Health care provider fraud: Fraud committed by a medical provider (including physicians, durable medical equipment vendors, pharmacies, hospitals, laboratories) involving any OWCP claim. Fraud schemes includes billing the Department of Labor directly or indirectly for services not rendered, misrepresenting services, unbundling services, billing for medically unnecessary services, duplicate billing, increasing units of service which are subject to a payment rate, falsifying claims resulting in increased payment to the health care provider, and kickbacks.
  • Improper Labor Management Relations: Corrupt union officials enter into a wide variety of “sweetheart” contracts with organized crime controlled and other corrupt employers in return for bribes and other favors. Such contracts typically include concessions which are significantly beneficial for the employer and detrimental to the union member.
  • Kickbacks : Illegal payments used to influence the operation of a benefit plan.
  • Labor Racketeering: Labor racketeering is the use of a union, benefit plan (i.e. pension plan,) contractor, and/or industry for personal benefit by illegal means. This abuse may take the form of collusive arrangements between union officials and employers that occur at the expense of union members or corruption within the unions themselves. It also occurs when organized crime groups infiltrate unions.
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program (DLHWC) fraud: Longshore offers compensation and medical care to employees disabled from injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel. Fraud schemes associated with this program includes claimant fraud which consists of knowingly and willfully making a false statement or representation to obtain benefits.
  • Mine safety issues: The Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is charged with enforcing compliance with mandatory safety and health standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents; to reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal accidents; to minimize health hazards; and to promote improved safety and health conditions in America’s mines. Mine safety violations should first be referred to MSHA but any unresolved mine safety violations, cases of MSHA abuse, mine fraud, or mine inspector bribery may be reported to the OIG Hotline.
  • Procurement fraud: Fraud in connection with DOL contracts or committed by DOL contractor(s), such as making false statements or false claims or providing a product less than called for in the contract. Procurement fraud includes DOL grant fraud; theft by a DOL grantee; embezzlement of Title Five funds; Workforce Investment Act fraud (WIA fraud), theft or embezzlement; or Workforce development board misconduct or fraud.
  • Unemployment insurance (UI) fraud: The Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, and meet certain other eligibility requirements. Allegations of UI fraud can include: theft of UI funds, unemployment compensation overpayment, disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) fraud, and the identity theft that results when false UI and DUA claims are made on behalf of unknowing individuals.
  • Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) fraud: The Veterans’ Employment and Training Services (VETS) helps veterans, reservists, and National Guard members in securing employment and the rights and benefits associated with such . Allegations of violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA), non-compliance with Federal Contractor Program Veterans' Employment Report (VETS-100 Report) requirements, and other compliance issues that fall within the authority of VETS should first be reported to VETS officials.  Allegations of serious misconduct involving the handling of such complaints on the part of VETS officials may be reported to the OIG Hotline. 
  • Worker health and workplace safety : The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aims to ensure employee safety and health in the United States by working with employers and employees to create better working environments. Workplace safety violations should first be referred to OSHA but if they are not remedied, these safety concerns may be reported to the OIG Hotline.



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