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Labor Dept: Pre-Sequestration Layoff Notices Not Required Under WARN Act

Federal law does not require federal contractors to notify employees of potential layoffs ahead of potential January budget cuts under sequestration, GovExec reports.

Citing a Monday Labor Department notice, Tom Shoop reports those notices are not consistent with the 1988 Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act.

That law, also known as the WARN Act, requires employers to notify workers of future mass layoffs 60 days ahead of time.

In its notice, the department’s Employment and Training Administration told state workforce agencies the WARN Act does not apply to the sequester because it is uncertain whether a sequester will occur or not.

DOL officials said sequestration is not necessarily foreseeable because efforts are underway to prevent it from happening.

If sequestration starts, those cuts would be sudden and dramatic, not requiring contractors to send notices as required by the WARN Act, according to Shoop’s report.

A group of senators has asked several large contracting firms to outline potential job losses resulting from sequestration cuts and possible contracts that would be either modified or terminated as a result of the cuts.

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