After a majority of MLB teams committed earlier in the week to paying all full-time employees through May 31, the Nationals assured their workers Thursday that they would be doing the same despite the commissioner’s decision to suspend all Uniform Employee Contracts, according to multiple reports.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred sent a league-wide email Monday that informed teams they could furlough non-player employees such as front office personnel, coaches and training staff if needed. Yet by Tuesday morning, 18 teams had reportedly already decided not to institute any layoffs—and several more joined them over the days that followed.
The Athletic reported that the Nationals issued an internal memo Monday that told employees, “Over the coming days, we will continue to work on plans for May and communicate those decisions to the staff.” On Thursday, an update came: all full-time employees will be covered through the end of May.
Washington, like the other 29 teams, had already committed back in March to paying its employees until at least April 30 and agreed to set aside $1 million for assisting ballpark workers. Per The Athletic, only two teams have committed to paying workers past May 31: the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies.
With Opening Day being one month ago Sunday, teams are trying to grapple with the loss of expected revenue from ticket sales, TV contracts and sponsorship deals. Manfred has explored ideas for starting off the season by holding games at neutral sites with no fans in attendance, but no formal announcement has been made as to how that would work or when it would begin.
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