The Hill reports that U.S. defense companies Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney are preparing to issue layoff notices, which they are required to do under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act 60 days in advance of mass layoffs, even though the Obama administration suggested those notices would not be necessary.
Approximately $500 billion in defense cuts are set to take place in January, and companies that plan to layoff employees must send notices out by November, two months before the layoffs hit.
The Obama administration, realizing this would hurt them politically before the November elections, has argued that those layoff notices need not be issued for layoffs resulting from sequestration.
Their reasoning, according to The Hill, is that “since Congress has the power to come up with an alternative sequester plan,” the “defense cuts don’t qualify as a foreseeable event.”
Sequestration could lead to the loss of 1 million defense-related jobs, according to industry experts, and will hurt workers in crucial battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida.
The Hill notes that Senate Republicans in August tried to pass legislation that would require U.S. defense firms to send out layoff notices to their employees, but it did not pass.