The Obama administration has doubled down on its plea to defense contractors not to warn employees about possible layoffs due to looming budget cuts — going so far as to offer to cover legal fees in compensation challenges.
The move drew a stern rebuke Friday from South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune, since federal law requires employers to give notice if mass layoffs are likely.
“For the second time, the Obama administration has now encouraged government contractors to ignore the WARN Act and hold off on warning employees about possible layoffs due to the looming sequestration cuts,” Thune, lead author of the Sequestration Transparency Act, said Friday.
The offer to pay the legal fees was included in a memorandum issued by the administration Friday that also restated the Labor Department’s position from July that contractors should not issue written notices to employees because of the “uncertainty” over the across-the-board cuts to the defense budget and other federal spending that will occur Jan. 2 unless Congress reaches a new deal.
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