Federal Government Offers Bribes to Hide the Coming Job Losses … Until After the Election

I’ve written a few posts about the sequestration cuts which are sizable cuts in the Defense Department’s budget that will lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses.  A controversy arose when by law the companies have to alert employees to the cuts but the Obama Administration wants to hide this fact from the public.  This is part of their double-game I alluded to in the piece this morning where Obama mouths the words he’s against the budget cuts (and job losses) but does absolutely nothing to stop either.  The Hill picks up on the latest efforts to silence the Defense contractors who by law are supposed to inform employees of the looming job cuts.  The Obama Labor Department is offering bribes to the contractors to violate the law:

The Obama administration issued new guidance intended for defense contractors Friday afternoon, reiterating the administration’s position that the companies should not be issuing layoff notices over sequestration. The Labor Department issued guidance in July saying it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to issue notices of potential layoffs tied to sequestration cuts. But a few contractors, most notably Lockheed Martin, said they still were considering whether to issue the notices — which would be sent out just days before the November election.

But the Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance. The guidance said that if plant closings or mass layoffs occur under sequestration, then “employee compensation costs for [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] WARN act liability as determined by a court” would be paid for covered by the contracting federal agency.

bribe [ brīb ] 1. persuade somebody with enticement: to give somebody money or some other incentive to do something, especially something illegal or dishonest
Senate Republicans, who accused the White House of trying to hide job losses after the first guidance, said Friday that the new OMB statement “puts politics ahead of American workers.” “The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said in a statement. “The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices.”The fight over WARN Act notices began in June when Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens said his company might send the notices to all 123,000 of its employees.
Quid pro quo

But the new guidance would appear to address one of the chief concerns from the companies — that they could be liable to compensate employees who were laid off if the companies don’t issue the notices. The GOP senators complained, however, that this tactic would push the cost of the layoffs onto taxpayers.

For a refresher, here is the relevant part of the WARN Act:

What Triggers Notice

Plant Closing: A covered employer must give notice if an employment site (or one or more facilities or operating units within an employment site) will be shut down, and the shutdown will result in an employment loss (as defined later) for 50 or more employees during any 30-day period. This does not count employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups, however, are entitled to notice (discussed later).

Mass Layoff: A covered employer must give notice if there is to be a mass layoff which does not result from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss at the employment site during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer’s active workforce. Again, this does not count employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups, however, are entitled to notice (discussed later).

2 Comments

  1. dwdude
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    that’s all very interesting, but what can be done with laser beam accuracy to thwart this lawlessness?

  2. til scott
    Posted October 4, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Politically , the action to avoid honest handling of layoffs is the type of morass that should get people sent directoly to jail without passing GO. We are becoming worse that a Banana republic in the manner, style and frequency of the deliberate lies told us by our government – only to cover its own rather naked backside.

7 Trackbacks

  1. […] UPDATE: It’s even worse. […]

  2. By High Crimes and Misdemeanors « Nuke's on September 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

    […] at  Jeremy Herb, The Hill, and Battleground Watch Share […]

  3. […] showing the true cost of the President’s inability to lead on budgeting. Battleground Watch calls this a bribe, and it’s hard to argue with their reasoning. Workers may now receive very short and limited […]

  4. […] violate the law. These people are just […]

  5. By The Chicago Way « Internet Scofflaw on September 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    […] The WARN Act, explained. (Via […]

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  7. […] Federal Government Offers Bribes to Hide the Coming Job Losses … Until After the Election « Battl…. Share this:TwitterRedditFacebookEmailPrintDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

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