https://www.wpxi.com/sports/nhl/pittsbu ... 2TVEM3T5Y/Beginning on June 1, the Pittsburgh Penguins will institute a four-month unpaid leave of absence program for a number of employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those impacted by this program will remain Penguins employees and receive full health benefits from the team. They also will be eligible for unemployment and stimulus benefits.
David Morehouse, the Penguins president and CEO, 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.
The NHL paused its season on March 12, and the league has made no decision on when games will resume. All Penguins employees have been paid in full over the past two months.
Morehouse will take a 50-percent pay reduction, and other senior executives and coaches will take 25-percent pay reductions.
The Penguins also have created an employee assistance fund for employees facing economic hardships.
Morehouse and other department heads reached out on Monday to speak one-on-one with affected employees. The team’s HR department is offering assistance on filing for unemployment and other matters.
"These decisions are extremely difficult, but they are necessary for us to endure this crisis, and to be able to resume our position as one of the best teams in sports whenever hockey returns," Morehouse said.
"My hope is that hockey will resume in the relatively near future, and that we will be back operating with an increased staff."
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