This is currently the top story at Fox News.
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.
The notices are required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and generally require employers with more than 100 employees to provide 60-day notices of “mass layoffs if they are reasonably foreseeable.”
[…]Rep. John Kline, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, suggested last week that the Labor Department is trying to conceal the full impact of the cuts.
“The Labor Department is trying to hide the consequences of sequestration from workers,” Kline, R-Minn., said in a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
So the administration is more concerned about being re-elected than with the cuts to an already weakened defense industry. The focus is always on rhetoric and perception with these Democrats, never on substance and doing what’s right.