[Skip to Content]
  • CLICK HERE FOR AN IMPORTANT NOTICE AFFECTING OEA GRANT PAYMENTS AND AWARDS FROM APRIL 20 THROUGH MAY 4, 2015

OMB to Contractors: Follow Labor Guidance on Pre-Sequester Layoff Notices

Government Executive - September 28, 2012, By Tom Shoop

The Office of Management and Budget Friday reinforced a Labor Department ruling that federal contractors need not issue notices of impending layoffs to employees related to the looming budget sequester. OMB said agencies would cover contractors’ “liability and litigation costs” related to such notices if they follow Labor’s guidelines.

In a memo to senior finance and procurement officials at agencies, Danny Werfel, OMB’s controller, and Joseph Jordan, head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, expanded on guidance provided by Labor in July about layoff notices.

In that guidance, Labor officials said contractors should not send warnings of impending layoff notices to their employees in advance of a potential budget sequester in January. Such notices, they said, are not required under the 1988 Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, and in fact are “inconsistent” with the law, according to a policy letter to state workforce agencies issued by Labor officials.

Contractors have expressed concern that the WARN Act, which requires companies to provide 60-day notice to employees of impending mass layoffs, might apply to a budget sequester that could slash federal agencies’ budgets. Labor’s Employment and Training Administration said it does not, largely because it is not clear yet -- and may not be clear until the last minute -- whether a sequester actually will go into effect.

Despite the Labor ruling, several contractors have indicated recently that they intend to send WARN Act notices to their employees.

In their memo Friday, Werfel and Jordan said some contractors “have inquired about whether federal contracting agencies would cover WARN Act-related costs in connection with the potential sequestration.”

In order to “further minimize the potential for waste and disruption associated with the issuance of unwarranted layoff notices,” the OMB officials specified that under certain circumstances, “liability and litigation costs associated with WARN Act compliance” would be covered by federal agencies. Two conditions would have to be met, they wrote: “(1) sequestration occurs and an agency terminates or modifies a contract that necessitates that the contractor order a plant closing or mass layoff of a type subject to WARN Act requirements, and (2) that contractor has followed a course of action consistent with DOL guidance.”

In such cases, OMB said, “any resulting employee compensation costs for WARN Act liability as determined by a court, as well as attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs … would qualify as allowable costs and be covered by the contracting agency, if otherwise reasonable and allocable.”

OMB also said agencies “agencies may treat as allowable other costs potentially associated with sequestration, including WARN Act-related costs arising under circumstances not specified in this guidance…”

 

To view this article at the source publication, go to http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/09/omb-contractors-follow-labor-guidance-pre-sequester-layoff-notices/58463/.

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

In the News

  • With or without BRAC, DoD’s footprint is shrinking

    April 8, 2015 – Federal News Radio, By Jared Serbu In each of the past four years, the Pentagon has proposed a new round of base closures and Congress has rejected every one so far. But with or without lawmakers’ approval, the military’s footprint is shrinking. The Defense Department has hinted...

    Read More...

  • Not Your Grandfather’s Factories

    Governing (Voices of the Governing Institute), By Anne Kim – April 8, 2015 It’s not easy for manufacturing to attract the younger, skilled workers that it needs. We need to focus on both the educational pipeline and public perceptions. For much of the past 30 years, the American public’s view of...

    Read More...

  • Improving Public Services: The Secrets of Award-Winning Cities

    April 6, 2015 – Governing, By John M. Kamensky Local governments, their citizens and community interest groups all want better service delivery, and more than ever are looking to technology to make that happen. But technology alone won’t work. What cities that have been recognized for innovations...

    Read More...

  • Looming Army cuts fill Texas leaders with dread

    April 4, 2015 – San Antonio Express-News, By Sig Christenson Automatic federal spending cuts over the last three years have hurt several Texas cities with large military installations — part of the budget sequester that will reduce the size of the Army by 80,000...

    Read More...

  • IMCOM leaders set sights on 2025

    April 2, 2015 – Hawai’i Army Weekly (Army News Service) SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Army Installation Management Command top leaders held a conference, here, for garrison commanders and command sergeants major to set a collective course for IMCOM 2025 and Beyond.

    Read More...

  • Budgets Signal Sequester Cuts Here to Stay

    March 30, 2015 – Defense News, By John T. Bennett WASHINGTON — What to do about sequestration is one issue House and Senate negotiators can skip as they craft a compromise 2016 federal budget blueprint. That’s because spending resolutions approved last week by the House and Senate both leave the...

    Read More...