Obama’s Labor Department on Monday issued “guidance” to the states, telling them that a federal law requiring advance notice of mass layoffs does not apply to the layoffs that may occur in January as a result of automatic budget cuts known as “sequestration.”
Inhofe, appearing on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, said President Obama, through his Labor Department, “is trying to intimidate businesses, companies, corporations — not just defense contractors — into not issuing the pink slips,” which are required by federal law 60 days before mass layoffs or plant closings.
“(T)he president doesn’t really want all these pink slips going out five days before the election,” Inhofe said.
Inhofe said “The Obama Administration is setting up employers to be sued and take on a huge financial burden when trial lawyers come out of the woodwork. I recommend companies take a hard look and err on the side of caution by letting their people know what could happen to their jobs in the near future. Is this the type of risk corporations want to take? If I were on the board of directors, I would fire the CEO who took this risk,”
He noted that if the automatic budget cuts kick in on Jan. 2 — as they will if Congress can’t reach a deficit-reduction agreement — layoff notices would have to go out no later than Nov. 2. The general election is on Nov. 6.
Under the WARN Act — The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act — companies with more than 100 employees must give 60 days’ notice if there is to be a mass layoff during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees (or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer’s active workforce).
The Senate Armed Services has received letters from eight defense companies saying they will have to layoff thousands of workers due to sequestration. Sequestration is projected to put more than 1 million Americans out of work, Sen. Inhofe warns.
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