More than 2,800 layoffs in northeast Ohio in last two weeks, many furloughs extended

More than 2,800 layoffs in northeast Ohio in last two weeks, many furloughs extended

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 Investigates has a look behind the layoffs statewide and the true impact to Ohio families.

Last week, unemployment numbers slowed down across the U.S. and here in Ohio.

But the pain is ongoing for families in every corner of our state.

We found many furloughs and temporary layoffs in March have been extended.

Some companies, in notices to the state, said they could last six months or become permanent.

Other companies said reduced worker hours could be extended.

Many companies said it’s hard to predict what will happen as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

19 Investigates found in the last two weeks, since April 27, there have been more than 2,800 layoffs in northeast Ohio.

Hundreds of those layoffs were extensions of job losses dating back to March, during the early days of the pandemic.

The WARN Act, a federal law, requires employers to provide written notice at least 60 days in advance of mass layoffs.

An employment loss, according to the WARN Act, includes a reduction in work hours for full-time employees by 50% or more.

You can find those notices in Ohio here.

Here are the industries hardest hit, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services:

-Casinos: 937 layoffs at MGM Northfield Park.

-Restaurants: more than 1,231 workers affected at local Outback Steakhouses, Carraba’s and Bonefish Grill, plus an unknown number of layoffs at Eat’n Park restaurants.

-Hotels: 182 people lost their jobs at the DoubleTree hotels in downtown Cleveland and Beachwood.

-Rental car companies: 267 layoffs at Enterprise Holdings, which operates several rental car companies.

In an updated letter provided to the state, MGM Northfield Park said they laid off most of their workforce between March 2 and 15, and these furloughs could turn into permanent layoffs.

"Our sincere hope continues to remain that this layoff is temporary," MGM said in the letter.

But layoffs "may continue beyond six months and/or could be permanent."

The company said under law, they had to give an "expected separation date" for these employees.

They listed that day as August 31.

National and state unemployment numbers come out every Thursday.

We’ll continue to watch the layoff notices coming in to our area.

Update:

According to Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., which owns restaurants including Outback Steakhouses, Carraba’s and Bonefish Grill:

“We have not had any layoffs and do not currently plan any. We sent WARN notices to employees and the required municipalities due to a reduction in hours resulting from the closing of our dining rooms. Some employees are working in our restaurants, which are still open for take away and delivery. For employees who’ve had their hours reduced, we have provided relief pay for six weeks, and we assess our ability to continue to do so every two weeks. We are also covering 100% of the cost of benefits during this time. As dining rooms re-open, we are recalling them back to work.”

-Elizabeth Watts, Director of Media & Community Relations, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.

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