Obama administration encourages defense contractors to skirt layoff notice law, puts taxpayers on hook for legal costs

With the election right around the corner, news of another huge round of layoffs by government contractors certainly isn’t what President Obama would like you to hear. The administration’s solution? Suggest to contractors that they keep the news under wraps until after the election, and then offer to pay their legal costs for violating the WARN Act.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers with at least 100 employees to notify them in writing 60 days before a mass layoff — something in the works at several defense contractors as automatic spending cuts go into effect in January, the result of a debt ceiling deal made last summer. In June, Lockheed Martin announced it might send notices to all of its 123,000 employees.

On Friday, the Office of Management and Budget sent a memorandum in a last-ditch effort to again delay the damaging economic news, announcing that it would cover the legal costs if contractors decided to forgo WARN notices.

Here’s Sen. John Thune’s synopsis of the Obama administration’s letter.

From The Hill:

Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.

The guidance said that if plant closings or mass layoffs occur under sequestration, then “employee compensation costs for [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] WARN act liability as determined by a court” would be paid for covered by the contracting federal agency.

Twitter users helpfully translated the OMB’s memo into plain English; stay quiet about the layoffs until after the election, and taxpayers will cover the lawsuits.

Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte issued a joint statement Friday criticizing Obama for putting “his own reelection ahead of the interests of working Americans and our national security” and giving defense contractors a “free pass.” Graham piled on further via his Twitter account.

Chicago ward politics at its worst? And it’s only September.

  • http://twitter.com/ladyliberty01 Marissa Martinez

    Why is this surprising? When has he ever abides by law? Not to worry, there’s an Executive Order for that

  • http://twitter.com/mikeinthebay Michael C.

    Romney better get ALL OVER this. Unbelievable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Teresa-Sanft-Nelson/1454157112 Teresa Sanft-Nelson

    It’s worse than a “beg”. This is clearly a BRIBE. Obama should be arrested immediately. Definition Bribe: The offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties. And the jerk is using our money to make the solicitation! Of all the fri*in nerve.

  • Love of Country

    More emphatic proof Barack Owebamao dreams of a dictatorship perhaps in the mold of his dear mentor Hugo Chavez. Leave it to Democrats to help him push his Marxist dreams through …. the Dreams of His Father.

  • http://twitter.com/KKingTX K King

    It’s not enough to post your outrage here. Contact your US representatives.

  • Brent Guthrie

    One of the radio show hosts I listen to predicted this at least three months ago. It was either Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin or Michael Savage. I also listen to Laura Ingraham and John Gibson. My TV is on only for NFL anymore.
    I do believe it was Rush who predicted this would happen.

    • irishgirl91

      Rush said unemployment stats would be steadily lowered until election day. We would begin to see stories about how confident people feel and Obama would get better approval numbers in the polls.

  • Chip

    Can we just give him $4ooo.oo and trade him in for a newer model? We’ll call it “Cash for Clunkers” or something.

  • ZoriahShepard

    Really???!!! How is he getting away with this?? He must be breaking the law right?? At every turn he seems to be torpedoing his own re-election. But…what sense does that make??? I think he’s deliberately trying to drive us crazy.

  • in_awe

    There can be no conceivable legitimate reason for the administration to offer this to corporations. It is unheard of – the government encouraging corporations to break the law and offering to use taxpayer money to cover their legal expenses and fines.

    I’ll be waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the MSM to cover this story.

  • JNobleDagget

    I expect the DOJ will be all over this one. I expect a special prosecutor within the hour.

  • Shawn

    obama will lie,cheat and steal his way to another term.

  • kbielefe

    Do any of these contractors actually think Obama won’t throw them under the bus if they lay people off without warning?

    Apparently, no one in the Obama administration is capable of figuring out that the best way for sequestration not to affect them politically would have been to–I don’t know–fix it.

  • catkeepr

    If they actually believe anything this administration says, then they deserve the beating they’ll get when this is over.

  • NuckingFutsinMo

    The contractors need to keep in mind that they will be protected only IF Nobama gets re-elected. Who really wants to roll those dice?

  • Inperspective

    What! This story’s far too important to allow the MSM to sweep it under the rug. We shall henceforth expose it…. Lift up that rug!

  • mhojai

    White House openly solicits and encourages breaking the law! Alert the Justice Dept— oh, never mind!

  • rant stocks

    If this fake president is back in office on nov.7…. I say move to canada or anywhere outside of america B/C you are not safe here anymore