This is rich: One of the most meddlesome federal labor laws foisted on employers by Big Labor has now come back to bite the administration. The Post reports:
The deep federal spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the start of next year may trigger dismissal notices for tens of thousands of employees of government contractors, companies and analysts say, and the warnings may start going out at a particularly sensitive time:
Days before the presidential election.
By law, all but the smallest companies must notify their workforce at least 60 days in advance when they know of specific job cuts that are likely to happen.
Obama administration officials say that the threat of layoffs is overblown and that Republicans are playing up the possibility rather than trying to head it off. The Labor Department said Monday that it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to send out large-scale dismissal notices, because it is unclear whether the federal cuts will occur and how they would be carried out.
You see laws are optional in the Obama administration. If the immigration laws haven’t been amended, do it unilaterally. If the welfare rules require able-bodied recipients to work, just waive the law.
And if a federal law designed to protect workers from abrupt changes in their employment situation are inconvenient, why just “advise” employers not to follow it. And get sued by the employees? Most employers would say, “No way.” There are also state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN Act) requirements that the feds have no jurisdiction over.
The administration wants to have it all ways: Slash defense, take no heat for the layoffs and resulting downturn in the economy and make the companies look “political.” In fact, the administration should come to grips with the implications of its insistence on slashing defense. (“Economists say the threat of deep cuts in domestic and defense spending, coupled with automatic increases in taxes, is already a drag on economic growth and a source of enormous uncertainty for businesses, which are holding back on hiring and helping to keep the nation’s unemployment rate above 8 percent.”)
With any other administration, liberals would be hollering about an imperial executive and/or demanding the administration follow labor laws. But not this one. Civil libertarians and Big Labor long ago tossed aside principle; their sole mission is to reelect President Obama. Actually the same could be said of the entire administration.