Labor Department: Contractors should not send pre-sequester layoff notices
July 31, 2012
Federal contractors should not send warnings of impending layoff notices to their employees in advance of a potential budget sequester in January, the Labor Department ruled Monday.
Such notices are not required under the 1988 Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, and in fact are “inconsistent” with the law, according to a policy letter to state workforce agencies issued by Labor officials.
Contractors have expressed concern that the 1988 Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies to provide 60-day notice to employees of impending mass layoffs, might apply to a budget sequester that could slash federal agencies’ budgets. The Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration said it does not, largely because it’s still not clear yet -- and may not be clear until the last minute -- whether a sequester will be necessary.
The sequester, included in a deal last year to avoid defaulting on the government’s debt, would kick in at the beginning of 2013 if members of Congress fail to agree on a long-term plan to address the federal budget situation before the end of 2012. It would require steep cuts in spending at the Defense Department and civilian federal agencies.