MultiCare to furlough 6,000 employees in response to COVID-19 crisis

SPOKANE, Wash. — MultiCare plans to furlough 6,000 employees in order to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. 

In a release, MultiCare said it’s experienced roughly $160 million in financial losses as a result of the pandemic. The health care system credited a decrease in patients for those losses, citing the suspension of non-elective surgeries and people choosing to avoid health care services. 

Beginning May 10 through Jan. 2 of next year, some 6,000 employees who are mainly non-clinical will be expected to take 17-shift furloughs, MultiCare said. 

That evens out to one shift per pay period for the rest of the year. According to MultiCare, holidays that fall within that pay period can count.  

Eligible employees will be given the option to use paid time off toward those shifts, it reads in the release. All employees who are furloughed will still have access to their basic health benefits. 

“The goal of these difficult decisions is to ensure that we can return to a solid fiscal position,” says Bill Robertson, President and CEO of MultiCare. “So that we may continue in our mission of partnering for healing and a healthy future — and remain the long-term health care partner the communities we serve require us to be.”

The announcement comes a day after Providence issued a similar statement, saying it plans to furlough an unknown amount of employees beginning May 17 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

READ: Providence workers facing cutbacks during COVID-19 crisis

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