The PJ Tatler

Graham Blasts White House for Urging Postponement of Sequestration Layoff Notices

A key opponent of deep sequestration defense cuts lashed out at the Obama administration today for a Friday memo encouraging employers not to issue WARN Act notices before the election.

The WARN Act is designed to protect “workers, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.”

“DOL concluded that it is neither necessary nor appropriate for Federal contractors to provide WARN Act notice to employees 60 days in advance of the potential sequestration because of uncertainty about whether sequestration will occur and, if it did, what effect it would have on particular contracts, among other factors,” said the memo of the Office of Management and Budget.

The memo says that the guidance is provided to “minimize the potential for waste and disruption associated with the issuance of unwarranted layoff notices.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) noted that as a senator, President Obama wanted to extend the WARN Act from 60 days to 90 days to give workers fair notice.

“Now, President Obama is trying to suppress the issuance of WARN notices, which will hit mailboxes right before the election. The Obama administration’s legal advice is dubious at best,” Graham said today.

“This is typical Barack Obama politics – being supportive of the WARN Act when convenient and against it when it creates political downside.  This is the most outcome-based White House in memory.”

Graham said the law is “crystal clear” in telling defense contractors to warn employees of sequestration layoffs, and said he hopes they’ll follow that law instead of the administration guidance.

“Sequestration is the law of the land and clearly calls for devastating defense cuts.  The hundreds of thousands of workers affected by these cuts should be made aware immediately,” he said.

With Congress in recess for the campaign break, the only hope of averting sequestration cuts is in the lame-duck session.