NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is poised to lay off 530 employees along with 40 contractors as the federally funded research and development center has yet to secure funding for the 2024 fiscal year, according to an internal memo.
“While we still do not have an FY24 appropriation or the final word from Congress on our Mars Sample Return (MSR) budget allocation, we are now in a position where we must take further significant action to reduce our spending,” Dr. Laurie Leshin said in the letter to employees Tuesday.
The upcoming layoff will affect 8% of JPL’s total work force.
The memo said most of the JPL employees were asked to work from home Wednesday. During the “mandatory remote work day,” most workers would not have access to the JPL Lab based in Pasadena.
Following a virtual workforce update meeting Wednesday morning, every employee would be notified via email whether he or she was impacted by the layoff, the memo said. Leshin added laid off workers’ access to JPL systems would be shut off “very shortly following the notification.”
“This is by far the hardest action I have had to take since becoming Director of JPL, and I know I join all of you in wishing it was not necessary,” Leshin added.
All impacted employees were expected to continue to receive their base pay and benefits through their 60-day notice period.
Source: NBC Los Angeles