House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants CEOs at 10 major government contractors to inform the committee if they sought external legal advice on whether they should send layoff notices to employees before the scheduled start date of sequestration.
According to GovExec, Issa’s office sent a letter requesting that information to the CEOs of Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Computer Sciences Corp., DynCorp International, General Dynamics, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Science Applications International Corp.
Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, most businesses are required to inform their employees of large-scale layoffs 60 days in advance of the job losses.
Both the Labor Department and the Office of Management and Budget have issued guidance against such notices ahead of sequestration, with OMB adding the government would cover severance costs incurred by contractors if they followed DOL’s guidance against the notices.
Lockheed said it would not issue the notices after OMB released its guidance.
In his letter to the contracting chief executives, Issa asked if their companies were contacted by a DOL, OMB or White House official regarding the WARN Act notices and to provide the committee any documents and communications exchanged between the company and any White House official.
GovExec reports Issa sent a separate letter to Jeff Zients, OMB acting director, and Patrick Fitzgerald, head of the Defense Contract Audit Agency, asking for details regarding the drafting of OMB’s guidance.
Issa also asked Zients and Fitzgerald to provide the committee legal justification for both the Labor Department’s guidance and for covering severance costs, cost estimates for reimbursing contractors,