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Washington Update

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On Jan. 2, 2013, the nation could be headed off the fiscal cliff.

The fiscal cliff refers to the automatic enactment of tax and spending provisions at the beginning of 2013 if Congress does nothing. This includes the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the FICA payroll tax holiday, plus the automatic spending reductions included in last summer’s debt ceiling deal, the Budget Control Act of 2011.

If sequestration happens, over a million federal contract employees could lose their jobs. Many of these mass layoffs will occur at employers with 100 or more full-time employees. Therefore, those employers would be required by the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act of 1988 to provide employees with 60 days written advance notification of plant closings and mass layoffs.

While a panel of major defense contractors testified in Congress last week that they were preparing to issue thousands of WARN Act notifications, the Obama administration recently announced that federal contractors are not required to provide WARN Act notices 60 days prior to the expected sequestration date, projected to be Jan. 2. 

What should HR do?  Click HERE to read the rest of SHRM Government Affairs staffer Michael Layman’s blog on the subject.

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