It would appear that things are getting desperate for the administration. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor suggested that companies really don’t have to comply with certain, apparently inconvient, labor laws.
This saga begins in 1988 when Congress passed the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. It requires that federal contractors give workers 60 days notice before the potential of any large scale layoffs. The saga continues with the looming January 1, 2013 budget cuts, that, among other things, will severely impact military spending, and thus federal contractors.
…Lockheed Martin has said it may have to tell 100,000 of its workers that they could lose their jobs, and EADS, Northrop Grumman and others could do the same.
Given the law, Lockheed Martin and others must notify workers of the expected January 1 layoffs by November 2, days before the upcoming presidential election. This, of course, will never do.
So, earlier this month, Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis issued what is known as a “guidance” to employers.
…it would be ‘inappropriate’ for contractors to send warnings, citing ‘the lack of certainty about how the budget cuts will be implemented and the possibility that the sequester will be avoided before January’.
A few thoughts on the “guidance”.
The law is the law. A “guidance” does not overturn the law, or suspend its implementation until the Secretary of Labor deems it convenient for the administration.
And, second Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors understand this principle. Failure to follow the law will subject them to countless law suits filed by both employees and unions for said failure.
If you were a federal contractor what would you do? Would you follow the “guidance” which will subject you to expensive litigation, or would you follow the law?