PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins are planning to furlough employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The team will implement a four-month unpaid leave of absence program for some employees beginning on June 1, announced on Tuesday.
The workers will remain Penguins employees and receive full health benefits from the team, according to a release.
They will also be eligible for unemployment and stimulus benefits.
According to the release, Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse made the announcement on a video conference with the staff Monday, calling it “the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my professional career.”
“With the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its growing impact on our business, I have made the very painful decision to reduce our operations to help us weather this unprecedented health and financial crisis,” Morehouse said in the release.
Morehouse will take a 50 percent pay reduction, and other senior executives and coaches will take 25 percent pay reductions.
The Penguins have now created an employee assistance fund for employees facing economic hardships.
The total number of employees who will be furloughed was not released.
The NHL paused its season on March 12 amid the coronavirus pandemic.