“Obama administration tries to block sequester layoff notices”

” The latest durable-goods orders report must have the Obama administration — and the Obama campaign — more worried than they publicly let on. According to the National Journal , the White House will press government contractors to hold off on
issuing layoff notices in October in
anticipation of the sequestration cuts, afraid of the political backlash that will ensue. In fact, the Obama administration is offering to indemnify government contractors for losses and fines for delaying
those notices:

  The White House moved to prevent defense and other government contractors from issuing mass layoff notices in anticipation of sequestration, even going so far to say that the contracting agencies would
cover any potential litigation costs or employee compensation costs that could follow.

Some defense companies —including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and EADS North America—have said they expect to send notices to their employees 60 days before sequestration takes effect to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies to give advance
warning to workers deemed
reasonably likely to lose their jobs.
Companies appeared undeterred by a July 30 guidance from the Labor Department, which said issuing such notices would be inappropriate, due to the possibility that sequestration may
be averted. The Labor Department
also said companies do not have
enough information about how the
cuts might be implemented to
determine which workers or specific programs could be affected should Congress fail to reach a compromise to reduce the deficit, triggering $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, half from defense, half non-defense. For 2013, that would amount to $109 billion in
spending cuts. “

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