WASHINGTON, D.C. | February 8, 2013 -
On Thursday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), will hold a hearing entitled “Sequestration: Examining Employers’ WARN Act Responsibilities.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
President Obama proposed sequestration as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Sequestration is a series of indiscriminate cuts to most defense and domestic programs that will begin to take effect on March 1. Federal contractors may have to reduce their workforce in response to these arbitrary cuts.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers with more than 100 employees to give affected workers 60 days’ notice of mass layoffs or plant closings. In 2012 the Department of Labor released guidance that states the WARN Act does not require contractors affected by sequestration to provide 60 days’ notice to their employees of potential job losses. However, the department does not have enforcement authority over the act or the power to issue ‘advisory opinions.’ As a result, the guidance is misleading, incomplete, and may result in workers not being notified of pending layoffs.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee has sent several letters requesting documents and communications related to the guidance, but the Obama administration has failed to provide an adequate response.
Thursday’s hearing will give members an opportunity to discuss the application of the WARN Act to sequestration and obtain answers to questions surrounding the administration’s controversial guidance. To learn more about this hearing, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings. A live webcast will be available here.
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