Forum Announcement

Please don't panic! You are not in the Twilight Zone, you are experiencing the new CNET forums platform! Please click here to read the details. Thanks!!

Speakeasy

Praise

Lawyer explains Ins and Outs of Sequestration

by JP Bill / February 22, 2013 / 1:33 PM UTC
How to Avoid Sequestration Wage and Hour Problems

As the March 1 "fiscal cliff" looms closer, Congress has given itself a week-long President's Day vacation, making the prospect of "sequestration"—i.e., massive automatic cuts to federal programs—more likely. Companies that are dependent to any significant degree on federal funding, whether through contracts or grants, now are thinking about furloughing some of their staff once sequestration takes effect.

Furloughing hourly workers is relatively simple, so long as any contracts and collective bargaining agreements are complied with. By law, if hourly workers don't work, they don't need to be paid. And, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has even announced that the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) won't apply to layoffs caused by sequestration.


Some good news for Toni in the article

And, it is almost inevitable someone, somewhere, will sue over this.

What's taking them so long?...It's been almost 2 months.

Anyone can sue....you need the law/facts on your side to WIN.
Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Lawyer explains Ins and Outs of Sequestration
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Lawyer explains Ins and Outs of Sequestration
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I just want to see them go through with it
by Steven Haninger / February 22, 2013 / 2:01 PM UTC

The suspense is boring me. Time to put up or shut up.

Collapse -
I agree........
by TONI H / February 22, 2013 / 2:28 PM UTC

BO had said in 2011 that he would veto any bill presented that tried to get around sequestration and now he's the one panicking and saying a deal to stop should be done. The time for sequestration has arrived........

Collapse -
Obama threatened to veto any bill
by Roger NC / February 22, 2013 / 2:33 PM UTC
In reply to: I agree........

avoiding sequestration?

Sure that wasn't any bill that didn't include a tax increase rather than any bill?

After all, the intent of sequestration according to everyone I've seen discuss it was to be so bad that both sides would do anything to avoid it, just like the fiscal cliff hubris. That underestimated both sides willing to take the chance of getting away with blaming the other side.

Collapse -
We have ourselves to blame
by Steven Haninger / February 22, 2013 / 5:11 PM UTC

We don't think before we vote as too many just believe what the media feeds them about the candidates. Whoever controls the media wins and whoever does the media the most favors gets to control them. We waltz in and pull the lever for whoever puts the best acts on stage with them, promises free stuff and makes it easy to get to the polls. We're played like a fiddle every election cycle and some candidates just know better how to produce the notes that are sweetest to their own ears. We've allowed ourselves to become stupid and lazy and deserve what we're getting. I just hope there's still time to wake up.

Collapse -
I'm as guilty as anyone, I admit when I look at a ballot
by Roger NC / February 22, 2013 / 5:41 PM UTC

there names I can't even say I know at the state and local levels.

Others I know the name, but all I really know is sound bites.

The only other info is if a friend really believes in someone and I trust their opinion. That's better than sound bites at least. Of course the down side is that often when I know them and trust their judgement, I also know that my views are different from them even though I respect them.

Collapse -
Surprisingly enough
by TONI H / February 22, 2013 / 2:27 PM UTC

that entire article dealt with how to handle 'furloughs' and didn't say one word about actual 'layoffs' other than that one sentence you quoted. I am suspecting that the word 'layoffs' was meant and intended to say 'furloughs'. We'll find out soon enough.

Collapse -
seems like a synonym to me
by Roger NC / February 22, 2013 / 2:36 PM UTC
In reply to: Surprisingly enough
Collapse -
re without losing the employees
by Roger NC / February 22, 2013 / 8:05 PM UTC

that depends on the times.

If I expect to repeatedly be furlough even for only a week at the time, I will consider using that time off looking for other work even if I don't have to. I went through that once, 3 weeks on, 1 week off, but since my job was a 6 day a week (8 hours Sat time and half) and we were eligible for employment for the week off I wasn't that worried. And I was younger and a bit less realistic perhaps. After about 4 cycles I could see the difference in my bank accounts and pocket cash.

A furlough of a day a week, as being discussed in some agencies, may take a while before the economic impact really hits you, but it will gradually get worse. Of course in today's job market, even if you can find another job you'll probably take that 20% cut or more, so why change? The only reason then is your estimate of the longer term stability of each job. And today nothing is reliable.

The advantage to an employer may be obvious. If you cut someone from 40 hours to 32, I don't think they're eligible to file for unemployment, which affects the employers unemployment tax and fees. In North Carolina, if it hasn't changed, if you're working 24 hours a week or more, you're not legally laid off and not eligible for unemployment. If you work them 4 weeks and off one, you would be eligible for unemployment files against the employer.

Years ago, back in the early 70's I was involved in that 3 weeks on 1 week off for about 3 months. Back then, the employer actually the first week rearranged schedules so everyone worked 23 3/4 hours. That meant that week quaified as your waiting week before getting unemployment but still got at least something.

Don't hear much about companies doing things like that to help employees cope since the 80's, not at the floor level.

Collapse -
(NT) unpaid leave
by James Denison / February 22, 2013 / 10:47 PM UTC
Collapse -
a furlough
by James Denison / February 22, 2013 / 10:46 PM UTC

from a furlong furrow ploughed by a fuhrlander, is no longer a tough row to hoe. Mischief

Collapse -
(NT) losing 20% or more of your pay isn't tough enough for you?
by Roger NC / February 23, 2013 / 6:42 AM UTC
In reply to: a furlough
Collapse -
Evidently you didn't comprehend
by TONI H / February 23, 2013 / 6:21 AM UTC

your link....it has said exactly what I have been saying.......there is a difference between a furlough and a layoff, and layoff notices are what were supposed to go out and didn't.

Collapse -
RE: that entire article dealt with how to handle 'furloughs'
by JP Bill / February 23, 2013 / 1:24 PM UTC
In reply to: Surprisingly enough

NO...it dealt with how to "handle sequestration"

Furlough is a way to handle sequestration.

furloughing some of their staff once sequestration takes effect.

Sequestration requires layoffs....Between the time the layoff notices are given and the people are actually OFF THE JOB...and employer can use "furloughs" to reduce their labour costs.

there is a difference between a furlough and a layoff,

Did I say there wasn't?

Read MY subject line in the OP

Lawyer explains Ins and Outs of Sequestration

in this post I explain the difference between furlough and layoff


I comprehend very well, thank you very much...it's YOU with the problem.

Do YOU remember saying this?

I am suspecting that the word 'layoffs' was meant and intended to say 'furloughs'.


They meant "layoffs" and they intended to say "furloughs".

They meant one thing and they intended to say another?

What ARE you trying to say?

Collapse -
Your quote
by TONI H / February 24, 2013 / 3:47 AM UTC

"sequestration requires layoffs".....In order to avoid layoffs, you use the furlough method. Furlough notices are not covered under the Warn Act......layoff notices are. Layoffs are coming, notices didn't go out in time, lawsuits will be paid by the taxpayer because BO told those employers to not send out notices and break the law. What part of this don't you understand or do you refuse to accept as truth just because I'm the one telling you about it since October?

Collapse -
RE: What part of this don't you understand
by JP Bill / February 24, 2013 / 4:49 AM UTC
In reply to: Your quote
What part of this don't you understand or do you refuse to accept as truth just because I'm the one telling you about it since October? Furlough notices are not covered under the Warn Act......layoff notices are

A cut and paste from the very first post I made in this thread...the OP.

the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has even announced that the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) won't apply to layoffs caused by sequestration.

Please note that the above statement says "won't apply to layoffs" NOT "won't apply to furloughs"

Layoffs are coming, notices didn't go out in time, lawsuits will be paid by the taxpayer because BO told those employers to not send out notices and break the law.

How do events unfold in your scenario IF everyone that is laid off receives a 60 day notice? Even they could bring a law suit....doesn't mean they'll win/have a leg to stand on...you guys are SO litigious. There are probably about 500 Tea Partiers out there that would just love to bring a lawsuit.

How do you tell people that they are going to be laid off when you don't know "for sure" which employees are going to be laid off...especially when you don't know positively which or how many will be laid off. Don't forget the purpose of the WARN was to relieve the stress of being laid off...Something which I haven't felt in a looonnnnggg time.

You're going to be jobless in 60 days!!!!! NO you aren't , just kidding.
Collapse -
The WARN Act isn't
by TONI H / February 24, 2013 / 6:38 AM UTC

in place for absolute layoffs......it's in place for POSSIBLE/PROBABLE/IMMINENT mass layoffs and is there exactly for that reason. It gives people a heads up that layoffs are coming, and it doesn't have to specifically say how many or even WHICH employees will get laid off. It allows people to make a decision to either start putting in applications for jobs somewhere else IN CASE they are let go or to stay put and hope for the best that they AREN'T one of those who get the 'real' pink slip. The very name of the Act describes what its intent is.......it's a WARNING.

Have you READ the Act itself?

For the DOL to state publicly that the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) won't apply to layoffs caused by sequestration, is as much of a lie as BO stating that sequestration isn't going to happen during the campaign, and that he called Benghazi a terror attack in the Rose Garden that Candi during the campaign debate said he did also.

We'll all see come Friday........

Collapse -
The question was
by JP Bill / February 24, 2013 / 6:41 AM UTC
In reply to: The WARN Act isn't

How do events unfold in your scenario IF everyone that is laid off receives a 60 day notice?

Would you bring a law suit claiming you didn't receive 60 days notice when YOU DID receive 60 days notice?

Collapse -
of course, government workers are not included
by Roger NC / February 24, 2013 / 6:54 AM UTC
In reply to: Your quote

workers for a government agency providing services are not covered under the act. Interesting how the government excluded itself from all the treatment of labor laws it passes.

What does seem to be covered in a rough description.

Plant closings.

Mass layoffs. The definition of that seems to be a layoff over 30 days or more of 500 or more employees, OR 50 to 499 employees if the number laid off is at least 1/3 of the site employment. At least reading seems to indicate at a plant, not throughout the corporation. Also, workers who have worked less than 6 months in the past 12 aren't counted, and those working less than 20 hours a week aren't counted.

There is also a provision for layoff of more than one group that totals to either 1/3 or 500+ in a 90 day period at one site (if I read it right, this part doesn't seem quite as straight forward). There seems to be a loophole that if the employer can demostrate that different layoffs were due to different causes, they don't add up toward the thresholds to invoke the WARN act.

I guess an example would be if they had one layoff because of business conditions but then had to let others go because of accidental facility damages/losses? That's my own guess at an example, not one I found. I wonder if they had one layoff because of business loss then were forced into another because of a supply shortage because a supplier failed would be separate causes. Espcially in this case if the first layoff was caused by sequestration and then the supplier failed because of sequestration.

So furloughs, or what I've known as rotating layoffs, might avoid the law. If you lay off 1/4 you would be safe from it seems clear. If you have everyone take 1 day a week off, that's only 20% no matter how you figure it and you're clear.

But are you clear if you lay off 1/3 one week at the time and rotate the layoff? It can be done, at least in some cases. Or if you do like I've known some to do and work a 2 or 3 weeks on then evereyone is off a week. You don't hit the within 30 day mark of course, and depending on how many weeks you're off in a 13 week period you probably won't hit the number without in 90 days either.

Seems there is more than one way to avoid the intent of the law. I admit I may have the administration of the act wrong since I only read a few descriptions of it.

Collapse -
RE: But are you clear if you lay off
by JP Bill / February 24, 2013 / 7:21 AM UTC

But are you clear if you lay off 1/3 one week at the time and rotate the layoff?

A "plant closing" or a "mass layoff" is defined in terms of numbers of workers at a
single site of employment who suffer an "employment loss."Id. 2101(a)(2) and (3). "

An "employment loss" is defined as a termination from employment other than a termination for
cause, voluntary departure, or retirement; a layoff for more than 6 months; or a reduction in hours
of more than 50 percent in each month of a 6-month period.


NO "employment loss"...NO layoff.

Reduce the work hours by 49% each month for up to six months WHILE you give out the "60 day notices"?

There goes the basis of a lawsuit claiming you didn't get 60 days notice.

Collapse -
Makes you wonder
by TONI H / February 24, 2013 / 7:41 AM UTC

how many of those government contractors who were told by BO to break the law and not send out those notices in time for the election actually got a 'tutorial' from Holder in how to get around it all......by using furloughs in rotation rather than actual layoffs. BUT....at the same time, there are OBM statistics showing that up to 700,000 jobs will be LOST because of sequestration and that the unemployment rate will climb again above the 8% mark.

Again.....we'll see what happens.

Collapse -
What will happen, I'm afraid
by Steven Haninger / February 24, 2013 / 7:49 AM UTC
In reply to: Makes you wonder

is that some last minute deal will be worked out to give more time to stall but find no solution to the problem. We'll be expected to wipe our brows in relief and bow down in thanks. I sure hope I'm wrong but am fully prepared for same old, same old until we can send most of our congress people back home to find other work.

Collapse -
(NT) you're probably right
by Roger NC / February 24, 2013 / 7:58 AM UTC
Collapse -
Isn't there some time limit
by James Denison / February 24, 2013 / 10:59 AM UTC

on how long a furlough can last without being considered a layoff or eligible for unemployment?

Collapse -
doubtful it is rotating between employees
by Roger NC / February 24, 2013 / 11:21 AM UTC

which is what it sounds a lot are planning to do.

And if some are talking about furloughing for a day a week, in NC it use to be if you worked 24 hours at your job, you weren't eligible for unemployment. That was decades though, I'm not sure if it's still the guideline or not.

That would mean you only have to be allowed to work 24 hours a week to be ineligible for unemployment. And for those on varying schedules, a schedule conflict that kept you from working the 24 hours offered probably would mean even if you worked less than 24 you'd still be ineligible. That is just a guess.

Collapse -
It'll probably be up to the courts
by Roger NC / February 24, 2013 / 8:07 AM UTC
In reply to: Makes you wonder

I can easily see one argument.

That the layoffs are not due to any business decision or market driven cutbacks.

That (even though it's the talk of the evening news every day) businesses can't be held accountable for layoffs resulting from government regulations instead of business decisions.

Large businesses always have lawyers examining all the loopholes. Large businesses always have contacts and lobbyists gathering infomation and promises from government agencies, regardless who is in office.

Many conservatives are arguing sequestration should go through, that any worsening of the eonomy will be make a true recovery come sooner. Basically the same argument that GM should have been allowed to go bankrupt.

I'm guessing a bit, but I would think the WARN act was intended to keep business from hiding all information about forthcoming layoffs because they didn't want it to affect their stock value early or affect deals they were working on completing before announcing the cutbacks. I would think it was to force a little consideration for workers inspite of what it might do to the corporate image. I'm not sure it would apply to non-market, non management decisions forces affecting income.

Afterall, you wouldn't sue a business if an earthquake or a tsunami wiped out a facility and put workers out of a job with no notice would you?

I can see lawyers aruging that business managers can not be responsible for what the government does.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 45,842 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,052 discussions
icon
Tablets 1,149 discussions
icon
Security 28,606 discussions
icon
Home Audio and Video 18,995 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,743 discussions
icon
Cell Phones 11,258 discussions
icon
Windows 8 1,311 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 10,496 discussions