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Thread: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

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    White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    . . . to your swing-state workers just days before the election, even though required to under the WARN Act -- and if you don't, we'll cover your legal costs if you get sued by your workers under the act.

    At White House Request, Lockheed Martin Drops Plan to Issue Layoff Notices - ABC News

    Defense contractor Lockheed Martin heeded a request from the White House today — one with political overtones — and announced it will not issue layoff notices to thousands of employees just days before the November presidential election.


    Lockheed, one of the biggest employers in the key battleground state of Virginia, previously warned it would have to issue notices to employees, required by law, due to looming defense cuts set to begin to take effect after Jan. 2 because of the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — the so-called Super-committee, which was created to find a way to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade.


    Such massive layoffs could have threatened Obama’s standing in the state he won in 2008 and is hoping to carry again this November.


    On Friday, the Obama administration reiterated that federal contractors should not issue notices to workers based on “uncertainty” over the pending $500 billion reduction in Pentagon spending that will occur unless lawmakers can agree on a solution to the budget impasse, negotiations over which will almost definitely not begin until after the election.

    Contractors had been planning to send out notices because of the WARN Act — Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act — which according to the Department of Labor requires “most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.”
    But:

    In Friday’s memo, the Office of Management and Budget reiterated that notice, urging agencies’ contracting officials and CFOs to “minimize the potential for waste and disruption associated with the issuance of unwarranted layoff notices.”


    The guidance issued Friday told contractors that if the automatic cuts happen and contractors lay off employees the government will cover certain liability and litigation costs in the event the contractor is later sued because it hadn’t provided adequate legal warning to its employees, but only if the contractor abides by the administration’s notice and refrains from warning employees now.
    How this wouldn't appear to be obvious electioneering on the taxpayer's dime, and with dubious authority, is beyond me.

    Senators Grassley and Ayotte have sent a letter, which reads, in part:

    We are seriously concerned about the OMB’s memorandum and the DOL’s letter. In particular, we are concerned about the authority of the Executive Branch to instruct private employers not to comply with federal law and to promise to pay the monetary judgments and litigation costs that arise out of the lawsuits that may follow. Although the precise amounts of the judgments and costs are unknown, they could potentially reach tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, all of which would be paid for with taxpayers’ dollars.

    Accordingly, respond to the following questions and requests for information:


    1. Identify the legal authority for the DOL to instruct federal contractors that they are not required to provide WARN Act notices to their employees in light of the pending sequestration.
    2. Identify the legal authority for the OMB to instruct federal contractors that they are not required to provide WARN Act notices to their employees in light of the pending sequestration.
    3. Identify the legal authority for the OMB to promise to pay the monetary judgments and litigation costs that arise out of the lawsuits that could follow from employers’ failure to comply with the WARN Act.
    4. Set forth the analysis and supporting legal authority for the representation in the OMB’s memorandum that “any resulting employee compensation costs for WARN Act liability as determined by a court, as well as attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs (irrespective of litigation outcome), would qualify as allowable costs and be covered by the contracting agency, if otherwise reasonable and allocable.”
    5. Explain in detail why you maintain that the Obama Administration did not have to first obtain approval from Congress before committing to pay tens or hundreds of millions of dollars (if not billions of dollars) in judgments, settlements and/or attorneys’ fees that may be incurred by private employers.
    6. Identify in detail the costs that the OMB’s memorandum represents the Administration will “cover” for contractors who are sued based on their failure to provide notices under the WARN Act. For example, do the “costs” include reimbursing the contractors for the attorneys’ fees they incur from defending themselves in WARN Act lawsuits? What other “costs” will be “covered”?
    7. How many millions or billions of dollars has the OMB’s memorandum obligated the federal government to pay, if WARN Act notices are not provided and layoffs and lawsuits do occur?
    8. What will be the source of the funds used to pay the monetary judgments and litigation costs that arise out of the lawsuits that follow from employers’ failure to comply with the WARN Act? Does the Administration maintain that these funds have already been appropriated by Congress?
    9. Before the release of OMB’s memorandum, was any analysis done to determine how much the federal government would have to pay to “cover” the costs of these lawsuits, including potential attorneys’ fees? If so, provide that analysis and provide copies of all documents related to that analysis.
    10. Provide copies of any and all written analyses that were done in connection with the OMB’s memorandum.
    11. According to the DOL’s July 30, 2012 letter, if contractors provide WARN Act notices, it “would be inconsistent with the purpose of the WARN Act.” By contrast, 29 U.S.C. § 2106 (the WARN Act) provides that “[i]t is the sense of Congress that an employer who is not required to comply with the notice requirements of section 2102 of this title should, to the extent possible, provide notice to its employees about a proposal to close a plant or permanently reduce its workforce.” How does OMB justify DOL’s statement in light of the plain language of section 2106 of the WARN Act?
    12. According to the OMB’s memorandum, “some [contractors] have inquired about’ whether Federal contracting agencies would cover WARN Act-related costs in connection with the potential sequestration.” Identify each of those contractors and produce all documents related to communications between the White House, DOL or any other federal agency and the contractors regarding this issue.
    13. Does the Administration maintain that the OMB’s memorandum constitutes a binding legal promise to contractors that the federal government will fully indemnify them for any and all liability and legal defense fees that they incur as a result of their not providing WARN Act notices? If not, explain in detail whether the OMB’s memorandum makes any binding commitments and if it does, describe those commitments in detail.
    14. Were any other federal agencies consulted prior to the issuance of the OMB memorandum? If so, identify each agency consulted and indicate whether any agency disagreed about whether the legal authority exists for the Administration to promise to pay the costs and legal fees associated with the failure to issue WARN Act notices.
    "It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - D. Webster

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    A blatant in-your-face attempt to buy the election with tax dollars. The left loves it and doesn't have to defend it because the msm will try to bury the story.

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry7 View Post
    A blatant in-your-face attempt to buy the election with tax dollars. The left loves it and doesn't have to defend it because the msm will try to bury the story.
    Until Romney goes ahead, at which point they will be courting his base. The MSM is pragmatic in their desire to lead from behind.

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    To add a little more to the subject.

    Some companies, particularly in the defense industry, have threatened to send out notices, which corporate officials have acknowledged is a way of pressuring both Congress and the White House before the election.
    Seems as though defense contractors are guilty of a little gamesmanship.

    They were assured that even if no deal was reached, layoffs would not occur immediately, thus not in danger of violating the 60 day notice requirement.
    The Labor Department told defense contractors in July they would not have to issue the notices. Then, last week the White House Office of Management and Budget reiterated the guidance. A letter from the Defense Department, as well, appeared to calm the concerns of Lockheed, a leading Pentagon contractor.

    Even if lawmakers fail to reach a deal sidestepping the automatic spending cuts, there would be no contract actions on January 2 and funding would probably not be adjusted for several months after that, said Jennifer Allen, a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman.


    Lockheed won't issue notices on job cuts after U.S. government guidance - Yahoo! News
    Richard Ginman, the Defense Department’s director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, wrote an industry group on Sept. 28 that “any action to adjust funding levels would likely occur, if it occurred at all, several months after sequestration.”

    Lockheed Drops Plans to Issue Layoff Notices on U.S. Cuts - Businessweek
    Looks like an effort to soothe a potentially unnecessary stressful situation. Presumably if a deal is reached, there will be no layoffs and no reason to inflict mental anguish on these employees.

    If no deal is reached and layoffs are a result, there is plenty of time to send out notices and comply with the law.



    Libruhl media in the tank for Obama....pfffft!!
    "I am a very proud wacko bird" - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
    To add a little more to the subject.


    Seems as though defense contractors are guilty of a little gamesmanship.

    They were assured that even if no deal was reached, layoffs would not occur immediately, thus not in danger of violating the 60 day notice requirement.




    Looks like an effort to soothe a potentially unnecessary stressful situation. Presumably if a deal is reached, there will be no layoffs and no reason to inflict mental anguish on these employees.

    If no deal is reached and layoffs are a result, there is plenty of time to send out notices and comply with the law.



    Libruhl media in the tank for Obama....pfffft!!
    The DOL letter to the companies goes back to July; Ginman's statement was 4 days ago.

    (And Jake Tapper has proved he's an actual journalist many times.)
    "It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - D. Webster

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry7 View Post
    A blatant in-your-face attempt to buy the election with tax dollars. The left loves it and doesn't have to defend it because the msm will try to bury the story.
    What this president is doing is criminal on so many front. The MSM went crazy when Nixon covered up a 2-bit break-in at a DEM campaign office. And that has forever been the ultimate in WH foul-ups -- everything has a "gate" affixed to drive the point home.

    Yet, this president is covering up the terrorist attacks on our embassies resulting in deaths of our agents.

    And now they are openly breaking the law to enhance Obama's election chances.

    This should bring media outrage with ranting and raving and storming the WH briefing room with pitchforks and buckets of tar.

    But, they would rather concentrate on details of Romney's income taxes, and Ann's horse, and Mitt's high school hijinks.

    This media is complicit in the destruction of the American ideal.
    Last edited by Rokkitsci; 10-02-12 at 09:13 PM. Reason: extraneous text removal
    The greatest fault of capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth. The greatest benefit of socialism is the equal distribution of misery. = Churchill

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw
    The DOL letter to the companies goes back to July; Ginman's statement was 4 days ago.
    The July letter told contractors...
    The “WARN Act is designed to require employers to provide notice to those workers who are reasonably likely to lose their jobs or suffer other serious employment consequences, but not to those workers who will suffer no such consequences or who have only a speculative chance of suffering them,” the guidance said.

    Federal government pushes back on sequestration panic - The Washington Post
    Words such as "reasonably" and "speculative' were used in July, which were appropriate because there were not and still are not any definitive cuts or layoffs that would affect any employee on Jan. 2, 2013.

    The defense contractors were getting a little antsy to comply with the law. Ginman's statement was just further reassurance to them that no layoffs were expected on Jan. 2, 2013, thus notices under the WARN act were unnecessary.


    The Labor Department told defense contractors in July they would not have to issue the notices. Then, last week the White House Office of Management and Budget reiterated the guidance. A letter from the Defense Department, as well, appeared to calm the concerns of Lockheed, a leading Pentagon contractor.

    Even if lawmakers fail to reach a deal sidestepping the automatic spending cuts, there would be no contract actions on January 2 and funding would probably not be adjusted for several months after that, said Jennifer Allen, a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman.
    "I am a very proud wacko bird" - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
    The July letter told contractors...

    Words such as "reasonably" and "speculative' were used in July, which were appropriate because there were not and still are not any definitive cuts or layoffs that would affect any employee on Jan. 2, 2013.

    The defense contractors were getting a little antsy to comply with the law. Ginman's statement was just further reassurance to them that no layoffs were expected on Jan. 2, 2013, thus notices under the WARN act were unnecessary.
    Well, the problem is that "reasonable" under the law is yet to be sussed out. Any firm would be well-advised to err on the safe side. Like I said, Ginman's statement was only a few days ago.
    "It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - D. Webster

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry7 View Post
    A blatant in-your-face attempt to buy the election with tax dollars. The left loves it and doesn't have to defend it because the msm will try to bury the story.
    This was reported on the MSM. When your guys poll numbers are down, you tend to blame the media. I see it as an attempt to save jobs, nothing more. If it was an attempt to buy votes, then it would have been done behind closed doors and not reported by the media. The fact that this story isn't and never was a secret shows me Obama isn't trying to buy the election. If the cuts do not take place, then no pink slips will be sent out.

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    Re: White House to Lockheed-Martin -- don't send layoff notices . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
    To add a little more to the subject.


    Seems as though defense contractors are guilty of a little gamesmanship.

    They were assured that even if no deal was reached, layoffs would not occur immediately, thus not in danger of violating the 60 day notice requirement.




    Looks like an effort to soothe a potentially unnecessary stressful situation. Presumably if a deal is reached, there will be no layoffs and no reason to inflict mental anguish on these employees.

    If no deal is reached and layoffs are a result, there is plenty of time to send out notices and comply with the law.



    Libruhl media in the tank for Obama....pfffft!!
    Conservatives have been too quick to try and create an Obama scandal out of nothing.

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