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U.S. To Contractors: No Layoff Notices

Publication Date: 
October 02, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Kathleen Pender


Professor William B. Gould spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle's Kathleen Pender about how offers by the Obama Administration to pay for violations of the so-called Warn Act are "unprecedented." 

The White House took another big step Friday to discourage government contractors from warning employees - just before the November elections - that they could be laid off next year if Congress can't reach a compromise to prevent automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.

In a memo, the Office of Management and Budget said the government - i.e. taxpayers - would foot the bill if contractors lay off workers as a result of sequestration and get sued for failing to provide the layoff notices required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

William Gould, a Stanford Law School professor emeritus specializing in labor law, says the government's offer to pay for violations of the so-called Warn Act "so far as I'm aware is unprecedented."