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Obama to Defense Contractors: Don't Warn Employees About Impending Layoffs

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers released the following statement from her office in Washington this afternoon:

"It is outrageous that the White House is calling on companies to ignore federal law requiring them to alert their employees of possible layoffs due to potential budget cuts, then offering up tax payer dollars to pay for legal fees and fines that result. The Aerospace and Defense Industry trade association recently estimated that the cuts from this sequestration will result in the loss of over 29,000 jobs in North Carolina alone. With the election almost here, the president is once again putting politics ahead of working families."

On January 2nd, 2013, the defense industry is set to face historic cuts to the businesses and resources that protect our nation and provide jobs for millions of Americans. These cuts were demanded by President Obama to be included in the debt negotiations last summer and will be enacted in three months unless a deal is reached. In order to hide the impact that these devastating cuts will have on job creators and national security, President Obama is encouraging private companies and defense contractors to disregard the law and rely on taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of all lawsuits that would result.

The House has done its part to stop these devastating cuts. With Congresswoman Ellmers' support, the House passed the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012 (HR 5652) in May. This bill sets in motion a plan to replace the upcoming sequester losses with responsible spending cuts in other federal programs. Senator Reid has refused to consider this bill or any other measure to halt these looming budget cuts.

According to the Department of Labor's website:

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects 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.

Advance notice gives workers and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other jobs, and, if necessary, to enter skill training or retraining that will allow these workers to compete successfully in the job market.

The Department of Labor has no enforcement role in seeking damages for workers who did not receive adequate notice of a layoff or received no notice at all.

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