509 local YMCA employees laid off in COVID-19 shutdown; state document lists other major layoffs
SPOKANE, Wash – The YMCA of the Inland Northwest has temporarily laid off 509 workers, as the shutdown of its facilities continues.
The information was listed as part of the federal WARN program, which requires companies with 100 or more employees to notify affected workers 60 days before closures and layoffs. It also requires the company to notify the state’s dislocated worker unit.
According to the document, the YMCA has laid off more people than any other company in Spokane. The YMCA of Greater Seattle laid off 2,222 employees, which makes it one of the largest layoffs since the state started tracking these WARN layoffs.
The layoffs in Spokane are not a huge surprise, given that the Y facilities have been shut down for months. In this story with 4 News Now in April, CEO Steve Tammaro said the Y expects to lose $2-3 million dollars this year.
Y members and participants in Y programs were given the option to collect refunds during the closures or keep paying to support the organization.
Tammaro told 4 News Now Wednesday, “Upon the mandated closing of our facilities the YMCA placed 509 part-time staff on standby unemployment status. This status would allow the employee to receive full unemployment benefits while not being required to look for work, and return directly into our workforce upon reopening.”
The next largest layoffs listed by the state are the 294 people temporarily laid off from the Spokane Eye Clinic on March 23rd. However, Spokane Eye Clinic says this isn’t quite the case. The eye clinic says all 294 employees received WARN notices, but only 150 were temporarily furloughed and are now back to work. Gee Automotive in Liberty Lake temporarily laid off 97 people, starting on March 25th. Rehire information is not available in the database.
Some of the largest layoffs statewide include nearly 2,200 people laid off by Seattle Goodwill Industries and 733 laid off by the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The Pac-12 Network laid off 531 people in Seattle and Pullman as well, many of them seasonal and temporary workers.
You can access the WARN list for Washington at this link.
Idaho saw fewer major layoffs due to COVID-19, according to that state’s WARN database.
The largest layoff was the Potlatch plywood mill in St Maries, which laid off 164 people when it shut down for two weeks. The mill has since reopened. You can see Idaho’s list here.
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