Hershey Entertainment extends temporary layoffs for more than 600 employees to more than 6 months


Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company has filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry that is impacting 603 people.

The company said that it was extending its temporary layoffs beyond six months and that the layoffs might end up even being permanent.

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company said it experienced a significant decrease in business in early March and then had to shut down operations on March 19 when Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all nonessential businesses to close due to COVID-19.

“Most of our union workforce experienced layoffs given the limited volume of guests at our resorts properties, the cancellation or postponement of concerts, sporting events, and theatrical events, and the closure of Hersheypark to all but a few essential workers,” the company said in the WARN notice.

The temporary layoffs will likely extend beyond September for its union workers and October for its non-union workers.

“Unfortunately, government COVID-19 directives have repeatedly been expanded and extended, requiring people to remain in place, which has in turn restricted our business since large gatherings and travel, in general, have been prohibited,” the company said in the notice. “These closures and the expanded and extended government directives have caused a sudden, severe and worsening downturn in the entertainment and hospitality industries that makes previously unforeseeable business circumstances now reasonably anticipated. Accordingly, HE&R’s prior temporary actions attempting to preserve employment of its workforce must continue and, we have now determined that the layoffs will likely extend in excess of six months, beyond September 19, 2020, for the union workforce and beyond October 13, 2020, for the non-union workforce.”

And with all of the uncertainties due to COVID-19, the company said it unable to guarantee that the layoffs will not be permanent.

“Given the ongoing uncertainties, we cannot make an accurate assessment at this time of which employees be returned to work or whether some employees will be subject to permanent layoff,” the company said.

The WARN Act is federal legislation that offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of a covered-business closing and covered-business mass layoff. The company filed the notice with the state around June 30 just days before it reopened Hersheypark.

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