Lockheed decides not to send sequestration layoff notices

Lockheed Martin issued a statement Oct. 1 in which the company said that it will not send employees correspondence this year warning them about possible layoffs if sequestration occurs, reports Defense News.

In deciding not to issue notices that the Bethesda, Md., defense contracting giant had previously said would be required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, Lockheed Martin cited Sept. 28 guidance from the the White House stating that it would bear the cost of potential lawsuits if defense plant closures occurred because of sequestration, the story said.

“The additional guidance further ensures that, if contract actions due to sequestration were to occur, our employees would be provided the protection of the WARN Act and that the costs of this protection would be allowable and recoverable,” Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Jennifer Allen wrote in an e-mail.

Moreover, Allen noted that the federal government's guidance on the matter indicated that the Defense Department anticiaptes no immediate steps to cancel contracts on Jan. 2, 2013, to meet the requirements of the pending sequestration, the story said. The guidance indicated that it would be several months after Jan. 2 before any cancellations would occur.

DOD officials have said repeatedly that they do not anticipate many contract cancellations even if the automatic budget cuts take effect, the story said. The sequestration procedure as legislated in the Budget Control Act does not target funds that have already been obligated to contracts; rather, it requires a percentage cut that would affect future contract actions and new contracts.

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