It would be improper for government contractors to warn employees of potential layoffs, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.
The Labor Department said in a guidance letter to state workforce centers, where the unemployed go for work and support, that the layoffs, which could begin on Jan. 2 and significantly impact the defense industry, are tentative at this point, the Associated Press reported.
“Employers of companies with 100 workers or more are required to provide notice 60 days in advance of a plant closing or mass layoffs” under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, according to Fox News.
Federal agencies haven’t made any announcements as Congress works to prevent the reductions. California Rep. Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, isn’t buying the speculative nature of things; claiming the guidance is politically motivated.
"People will still get laid off because of the president's irresponsibility, but they won't have the notice to protect themselves and their families," McKeon said.
Lockheed Martin, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in August, told Congress any across-the-board cuts could lead to more than 10,000 layoffs. The company has 120,000 employees.
If the president and Congress can avoid the cuts, the military will not see a $55 billion budget cut in January; totaling more than $490 billion over the next ten years. In the face of Iran’s nuclear capability, Syria’s instability, and other internal and external threats, that would certainly let Americans breath a little easier.
The automatic cuts are expected because Congress didn't put aside their agendas last year and agree on a plan to slice the national deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
"There is no reason to needlessly alarm hundreds of thousands of workers when there is no way to know what will happen with sequestration," Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, of Washington, said.