Obama Administration asks companies to risk lawsuits by holding onto pink slips until after the election:
The Budget Control Act of 2011 famously established a bipartisan congressional “Super Committee” to come up with $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade, which hit the military harder than any other single sector of the government. According to the Budget Control Act, if Congress cannot come to agreement on budget cuts of $1.2T over 10 years, automatic cuts are triggered in a process called “sequestration”. Sequestration is currently the law of the land, and our nation’s workers have a right to know how these sequestration cuts which begin in January may impact them,”
One thing that is NOT exempt is the defense budget. As Heritage illustrates, the DoD would see a far greater impact from cuts than any other government program. This analysis determined that a combined $45.1 billion reduction in the purchase of military equipment and in Research and Development funding (BCA I and II) by the Department of Defense would reduce GDP by $86.5 billion and result in the loss of 1,006,320 direct, indirect and induced jobs across all sectors of the U.S. economy. In its guidance, the Labor Department also noted that “efforts are being made to avoid sequestration,” making its occurrence “not necessarily foreseeable.”
The military employs a lot of private-sector contractors, and those contractors employ a lot of people. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, CALLED THE WARN ACT, dating back to 1988, which “offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.” “Even the Labor Department has said, in advisory interpretations of the WARN Act, that when in doubt you are supposed to give notice.”
Who’s covered by this law? “In general, employers are covered by WARN if they have 100 or more employees. Private, for-profit employers and private, nonprofit employers are covered, as are public and quasi-public entities which operate in a commercial context and are separately organized from the regular government. Exemptions are provided for the closure of temporary facilities, the completion of projects that were always understood to require temporary employment, and striking union workers. None of those exemptions would apply in this case, but later in the Act there’s a provision for allowing less than 60 days’ notice due to “business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would otherwise have been required.”
The Obama Administration, floated a sunny letter to employers about to get rocked by sequestration, informing them that compliance with the WARN Act isn’t really necessary. contracts may be terminated or reduced in the event of sequestration on January 2, 2013, to provide WARN Act notices 60 days before that date to their workers employed under government contracts funded from sequestrable accounts,” chirped Assistant Labor Secretary Jane Oates. “The answer to this question is ‘no.’ In fact, to provide such notice would be inconsistent with the purpose of the WARN Act.” Republicans say President Obama has refused to engage in the debate and will share responsibility for the potential loss of one million jobs if sequestration takes effect.
“The Senate Armed Services Committee has received letters from eight defense companies, all of which advise that they will have to lay off thousands – if not tens of thousands – of workers if sequestration occurs.
“Unforeseeable business circumstances exception” would apply, because “although it is currently known that sequestration may occur, it is also known that efforts are being made to avoid sequestration.” In other words, it’s still remotely possible that the mandatory cuts might not occur, so there’s no need to advise the affected employees their jobs could disappear in 60 days.
Well, you see, 60 days from January 2, 2013 is November 2, 2012. It would be horribly inconvenient for him if thousands of people got laid off just a few days earlier.
The Department of Labor that said it would be “inappropriate” for defense firms to issue layoff notices to employees before the election due to the pending cuts.
President if those contractors held off on pumping out pink slips until later in November, when voters will no longer be able to hold Obama or his Party accountable for triggering sequestration with their mad intransigence on fiscal restraint. There’s just one little problem with this request from the Obama campaign auxiliaries running the Department of Labor: they don’t enforce the WARN Act. “Enforcement of WARN requirements is through the United States district courts,” the Act stipulates. “Workers, representatives of employees and units of local government may bring individual or class action suits.
Disturbing in light of the fact that the Department of Labor previously stated in a Fact Sheet that ‘since it has no administrative or enforcement responsibility under’ the WARN Act, it ‘cannot provide specific advice or guidance with respect to individual situations.’ Today the Department did just that, issuing guidance to government contractors not to provide their employees advance notification of potential layoffs as a result of sequestration.
By holding off on sending out layoff notices until, say, Christmas Eve – they could end up getting sued for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal district court. The awards from successful lawsuits on that scale would bankrupt corporations, perhaps even entire industries. Noted in a press release that the Department of Labor itself has previously admitted, in writing, that it has “no administrative or enforcement responsibility” under the WARN Act, and “cannot provide specific advice or guidance with respect to individual situations.”
Maybe they should include the minutes of those Super Committee meetings with the layoff notices, so their former employees understand just how high a price they’ve paid, in the name of Democrat hunger for class-warfare tax increases.
Reid said, echoing a line from Obama last week. “We could avoid these defense cuts tomorrow if Republicans would simply agree to ask millionaires to pay their fair share.”
Democrats say new taxes must be part of the deal, while Republicans want mandatory spending cuts, making a deal unlikely before the election.
Sources: human events, john Hayward, budget control act of 2011, warn act, heritage, the hill, cns news, Jeremy herb,


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