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DOD Doesn’t Need To Warn About Layoffs

From an unquestioning Associated Press:

Labor Dept. says no need for warning on layoffs

By Sam Hananel | Monday July 30, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Labor Department said Monday that federal contractors do not have to warn their employees about potential layoffs from across-the-board budget cuts that could begin on Jan. 2.

In a guidance letter, the agency said it would be "inappropriate" for employers to send such warnings because it is still speculative if and where the $110 billion in automatic cuts might occur. About half the cuts would be in defense.

The letter comes days after a Pentagon official said Defense Department contractors could be sending their workers layoff notices four days before the Nov. 6 presidential election. That prospect has unnerved the White House because it would affect thousands of defense workers in presidential battleground states such as Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, employers of companies with 100 workers or more are required to provide notice 60 days in advance of a plant closing or mass layoffs.

But the Labor Department letter says federal agencies have not announced which contracts might be affected by the budget cuts – known in Washington as sequestration – so any plant closings or layoffs such cutbacks are "speculative and unforeseeable." It also points out that lawmakers are trying to avert the cuts, which would avoid layoffs altogether…

Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining and Notification ACT, companies have to send out notices 60 days ahead of time advising their employees of impending mass layoffs or plant closures. We suspect that 60 days out a lot of layoffs are “speculative.” And yet the government requires these notices to be sent out.

And there is nothing in the WARN Act that would justify waiving this requirement for the DOD. (See below.)

The GOP chairman of House Armed Services Committee claimed the new guidance was politically motivated. "People will still get laid off because of the president’s irresponsibility, but they won’t have the notice to protect themselves and their families," California Rep. Buck McKeon said.

The guidance comes as major defense contractors are bracing for the possibility of mass layoffs. Lockheed Martin, for example, has told Congress that across-the-board reductions could result in layoffs of 10,000 employees out of the company’s 120,000 workers…

According to the WARN Act, there are only three exceptions allowed to the 60-day notice:

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

Notification Period

With three exceptions, notice must be timed to reach the required parties at least 60 days before a closing or layoff.

(1) Faltering company. This exception, to be narrowly construed, covers situations where a company has sought new capital or business in order to stay open and where giving notice would ruin the opportunity to get the new capital or business, and applies only to plant closings;

(2) Unforeseeable business circumstances. This exception applies to closings and layoffs that are caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would otherwise have been required; and

(3) Natural disaster. This applies where a closing or layoff is the direct result of a natural disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, drought or storm.

None of which apply here, unless you want to call Democrats ‘a natural disaster.’

There is no mention of any exception because giving notice might hurt Obama and the Democrat in an upcoming election. But as we have seen time and again, laws mean nothing to the from the Obama administration.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “DOD Doesn’t Need To Warn About Layoffs”

  1. captstubby

    But the laid off worker numbers will “seasonally adjusted”.

  2. AcornsRNutz

    OK, little of topic, but those conditions of the WARN act that waive the requirement. They seem to indicate that the government accepts that those types of events occur, and can cause layoffs. So why can’t we remember this when it comes time to hand out bailouts?

  3. GetBackJack

    Anyone here realize it was our own “government” who first began to refer to employees and workers?

    That tells you everything.

    And employee is a participant.

    A worker is a replaceable part.

  4. JohnMG

    …..”None of which apply here, unless you want to call Democrats ‘a natural disaster.’……”

    Democrats=disaster? Yes! But natural? Huh-uh. I’ve come to regard ALL Democrats as an aberration, and as such, UNnatural.

    Too bad they aren’t genetically sterile.

  5. canary

    The Coal Miners are now getting pink slips. They got the big one the day after they voted for Obama 2008.

    Shame on California media waiting til after they voted 2008 Obama.




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