It’s been a very challenging past few days with little sleep, limited and evolving information, and difficult decisions. Each step and every decision we make is with the highest consideration to balancing the interests of community health, our associates, members and the overall health of the business.
In the end, we must survive as a company to be able to employ over 2,000 people over the long-term.
Nothing about this is easy, nothing feels good right now – but if we want to have jobs for everyone to come back to, we first need to make sure we have a company that is alive and able to offer jobs. We owe it to you and your families and the communities we live in to do that.
The reality is, we do not know how long we are going to be forced to be closed. Based on what we are seeing around the world, it is unlikely to be just 14 days.
As much as it hurts my heart to do so, after hours of deliberations and financial analyses, we are putting nearly all staff on a temporary layoff and ask you to apply for Unemployment Insurance.
I know all of you have given everything and more to the company. For those of you who have been with Midtown for over 5 years and are full time staff, we will be paying you one week as recognition for your time. I know it’s not much, but it is all we feel we can do at this stage based on what we know. I wish we could do more for everyone and be financially responsible. We will continue to cover everyone’s health insurance through the end of March.
One thing we will do for everyone is this, if the close-down only lasts 21-days or less and we are back open and can bill dues, we will look to make you financially whole once we get back up and running.
I am incredibly proud of everyone and what we have achieved over the years. Our past success is our inspiration for the future. We win together, we fall together, and will we rise up again - together stronger than ever.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Why am I being laid off?
- We were mandated by the government to temporarily close 6 of our 8 clubs, and decided to close them all in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Is this really temporary?
- Our goal is to come out of this as strong as ever. While we have no guarantees on the length of this closure, we will continue to assess the situation every day in order to open the moment it is safe to do so. We will comply with all government mandates and CDC guidelines.
- Will I get paid during this layoff?
- Salaried staff at the clubs is paid through 3/20.
- Hourly and commissioned staff at the clubs is paid through services delivered through 3/16.
- In order to reward our tenured hourly, commissioned, and salaried staff at the clubs, if you have 5+ years of service at Midtown, you will receive one week pay at your average of the past 6 months.
- If we are able to get the clubs up and running again any time within the next 21 days, we will look to make every one of our employees whole for the lost time. We will continue to evaluate this if the closure lasts longer than planned.
- When will I receive this pay?
- This Wednesday, March 18th, will include 100% pay for time worked from February 27th through March 11th. The next paycheck is April 1st, and will cover 100% pay for time worked from March 12th until this layoff.
- If you do not have direct deposit set up, your check will be mailed to your home address that we have on file.
- Will I keep my benefits during this temporary layoff?
- Your current benefits, including health insurance, are active until the end of this month.
- You can extend your current health insurance coverage after the end of this month using COBRA. This includes medical, dental, and flexible spending. You will receive the paperwork within the next few weeks, mailed from our vendor WageWorks.
- What other options are available to me during this time?
- You may request to use your accrued vacation and/or sick pay during this time. By choosing to take this pay now, it could delay your unemployment benefit. In order to request this time, please contact your payroll coordinator.
- You are most likely eligible for unemployment benefits. If you choose to begin your application, please see details in the attached document.
- For the next 30 days, all associates are eligible to take advantage of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefit. Your EAP is a confidential workplace service that employers pay for. An EAP helps employees deal with work-life stressors, family issues, financial concerns, relationship problems, and even drug or legal concerns. To use your EAP, please call (XXX) XXX-XXXX. Your userID and password are both XXXX. This service is multilingual.
- Due to the club closing, we are unable to continue Catastrophe Pay. Anyone currently on Catastrophe Pay will lose this benefit, as of this layoff.
- How long until I am back at work in the club?
- Right now, we are closed for the mandatory 14 day time period--but this situation is highly fluid and subject to change. We will keep you informed if there are any updates.
- Will the clubs completely shut down during this time?
- We will have a skeleton crew at each club to ensure the continued security and maintenance of each facility.
- Is my job guaranteed when the club reopens?
- Our intention is to reopen as strong as ever, but this is uncharted territory and a fluid situation that seems to change every day.