Bruins place team employees on temporary leave in wake of coronavirus outbreak

The Bruins announced on Wednesday that the organization is placing 68 full-time employees of both the team and TD Garden on temporary leave. Beginning on April 1, full-time salaried employees will receive one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits. The decision was made “due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our operations,” the team said.

“Effective April 1, 2020, 68 of our full-time salaried associates will be placed on temporary leave, receiving one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits,” the statement read. “Additionally, as of April 1, 2020, 82 of our full-time salaried associates will receive an indefinite salary reduction. Those associates not impacted by the temporary leave or salary reduction have employment contracts.”

Delaware North, a company owned by Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, described the move as “temporary business stabilization measures” in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“As relayed to our associates today, none of these decisions were reached without difficult and painful deliberations,” the team said. “These measures are intended to be temporary with associate employment and compensation returning once our business resumes to its normal state from this unprecedented stoppage.”

The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers made a similar move earlier this week with their team employees, but eventually reversed the decision to reduce staff pay by 20 percent. Josh Harris, who owns the Sixers, changed course and instead announced that team employees will be paid in full throughout this coronavirus pandemic after the the initial decision was met with considerable backlash. The Bruins caught similar backlash on social media Wednesday, but it remains to be seen if it will force the team to change their mind.

The NHL put the 2019-20 season on pause back on March 12, when many professional sports leagues made similar announcements due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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