Layoffs pending if Portland Art Museum doesn’t open by July


The museum cited COVID-19 and a "dramatic loss of business"

Portland Art Museum. May 4, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In documents made public on Monday, May 4, the Portland Art Museum gave notice to local authorities about upcoming, large-scale layoffs.

The museum’s chief financial officer sent a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (commonly referred to as a WARN notice) to Mayor Ted Wheeler on April 28, 2020. The letter notified the mayor that, “due to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak” the museum has experienced a dramatic loss of business.

As a result, the Portland Art Museum gave notice to 96 employees about pending layoffs, effective July 1. According to the letter, those employees were notified the day before, April 27.

A spokesperson for the Portland Art Museum on Monday said, “The layoffs are not certain, but if PAM cannot reopen in July and financial circumstances remain as they are, then layoffs will be unavoidable.”

The layoffs would impact several departments, ranging from collections management and events, to visitor services and custodial staff.

The WARN Act does not require employers to report layoffs for positions employees held for less than six months or workers who worked fewer than 20 hours per week.

Regional layoffs continue

Dakine, an outdoor clothing company based in Hood River, also announced mass layoffs. In a May 1st letter citing the coronavirus pandemic, the company said that it was forced to lay off 39 employees, effective May 15. The company will also have to close its office headquarters.

InnVentures, a hotel management group that runs several hotels in Oregon, as well as across other states, said 350 employees at hotels in Lake Oswego, Bend, Hillsboro, Tigard, Portland, and Salem were laid off. These layoffs were permanent, and employees were notified in March. The hotel management group also made an additional round of temporary layoffs that effected 18 people.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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