When word got out for some workers employed at the Joint Intelligence Operations Center Europe in Molesworth, England, between January 2015 and June 2021 that there was a no poaching agreement between some defense contractors, they decided to sue. In this case, defense contractors supporting the same intelligence location agreed to not recruit – or poach – each others employees as a way to keep turnover low in a location that would be hard to fill with Top Secret clearance holders. However, the workers maintain that this no poaching agreement impacted their ability to seek out better opportunities. Specifically, the suit proposed that the no poaching agreement was a violation of the Sherman Act. Contractors who want to save time and money in the recruiting cycle may wind paying litigation costs, as well as, fines. The scrutiny has been heightened since 2016, when the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the FTC jointly released the “Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals” that stated their intentions to pursue criminal charges against organizations that continue to implement these agreements. It’s challenging to get qualified and cleared candidates that are a good fit with the client; however, entering into no poaching agreements only pays in fees, fines, and potential criminal charges.
Layoffs Impacting the Cleared Industry
|Red River Army Depot||Recently, the Red River Army Depot (RRAD), TX announced plans to layoff 180 personnel. RRAD reports that 92 contractors and 88 civilians will be impacted in October. A declining workload and reductions projected for the future are identified as the caused.
“The ebb and flow of our contractor and term workforce enables Red River Army Depot to surge to mission requirements when necessary,” said Red River Army Depot Commander Col. John Kredo.
“Red River is posturing itself for the future and work toward modernization in support of the Army’s future needs,” he said.
Hiring impacting the Cleared Industry
|L3 Harris||L3Harris Technologies is experiencing growth in Ft. Wayne, IN with the expansion of their campus. L3Harris has plans to add jobs in order to meet DoD satellite needs. The Ft. Wayne campus is a recent investment in missile-defense capabilities by L3Harris, providing a classified facility for engineering, integration, and testing for their missile defense satellite programs. L3Harris has over 500 employees already in the area, and they have plans to hire 100 more this year.
“Our customers face rapidly evolving threats now, not in years,” Ed Zoiss, president, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris, said in a news release. “We’ve increased our investment and expanded our capacity prior to receiving program awards so we can help them address threats without hesitancy.”
Cleared Employer at Work: Leidos
Opportunity to Watch
While the DoD has long touted the idea that buying commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems wherever possible, one system that the Department made clear isn’t to follow this path is the procurement and operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), aka drones. Updated guidance put into effect September 8 by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks is applicable department-wide and to all UAS – regardless of size or class. Foreign-made commercial UAS are a continued threat, and the DoD has made it clear that this guidance is a priority. Good news for U.S. defense contractors competing for UAS work, this means less cost cutting measures to keep up with foreign COTS systems.