The defense contractors thought about it for a while and decided that it might not be safe to rely on the Labor directive, since workers would have a right to sue under the plain terms of the Act. So the OMB has stepped up: now they're promising to indemnify the employers against not only the legal fees they will incur but also the amount of any judgment rendered against them. Using taxpayer money. Is the purpose to delay bad news until after the election? No, the OMB explains that issuance of an unwelcome WARN notice would
waste States' resources in undertaking employment assistance activities where none are needed and creaty unnecessary anxiety and uncertainty for workers.Including PTSD, no doubt. It remains to be seen whether the employers will fall for it. There are public policy restrictions on indemnifying people against the consequences of deliberate violations of law, and it's a big gamble, anyway, on the perserverence of these hacks in their present positions of authority to dispense goodies from the public funds for their personal benefit.
I'm most interested to see if the White House will figure out a way to impose penalties on employers who decide to play it safe and send the notices anyway. Penalties, that is, in addition the withhold of their bribe.