First coronavirus-related mass layoff notices filed in Ohio includes 2 area restaurants

First coronavirus-related mass layoff notices filed in Ohio includes 2 area restaurants

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The first mass layoffs related to the COVID-19 outbreak were reported to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has informed the state of “across the board eliminations of hourly employees” at all five of its Ohio restaurants.

The company said the layoffs, which are temporary, impact 410 of its 450 workers in the state.

“The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and related unprecedented federal guidance and state orders closing restaurants has caused a significant economic impact on the business of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill,” the restaurant group wrote in a letter to the state’s Office of Workforce Development this week.

On Sunday, Governor Mike DeWine ordered all Ohio bars and restaurants to close to in-house patrons.

“This is a temporary furlough during the required closure of dine-in service for our Firebirds restaurants," Stephen Loftis, Firebirds’ Vice President of Marketing, wrote in an email to 19 News. ”Firebirds intends to recall displaced team members once the restrictions are lifted."

Firebirds currently has two restaurants in Northeast Ohio. They are located in in Orange Village and Niles.

While their dining rooms remain temporarily closed, Loftis says all five restaurants are still open daily for carryout and delivery, including curbside delivery.

A western Ohio company also filed a coronavirus-related WARN notice with the state week.

Totally Promotional, located in Mercer County, said it will be letting as many as 150 workers go “as a result of a significant downturn in business due to the unforeseeable nature of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

The company plans to initiate a series of temporary, voluntary, and permanent layoffs of 75 to 150 employees over the next several months.

Governor DeWine has issued an executive order making it easier for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during the state’s emergency declaration period.

If an employer lays off workers due to the loss of production caused by the coronavirus, the employees can receive unemployment insurance benefits, if they are otherwise eligible.

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