First they layoff good performers, experienced senior employees, ones above 50. Then Raytheon gets in trouble on various projects due to a lack in experience, so they need someone to clean up the mess. And than, what do they do - they engage the same previously laid off people as consultants.
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Not odd at all. Happens in many industries. The fact of the matter by laying off those senior staff, they no longer need to fund their benefits which roughly equates to about 30-33% of total compensation. AND by employing them as consultants, they're not required to pay ANY benefits.
Sad but true, but they get the best of both worlds.