Bon Secours temporarily furloughs employees not working directly on COVID-19 response

700 full-time employees across seven states, 12 markets have been furloughed
Bon Secours announces their intent to merge with Mercy Health. (Source: Bon Secours)
Bon Secours announces their intent to merge with Mercy Health. (Source: Bon Secours)
Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 2:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Bon Secours said in a statement that it will temporarily furlough employees who are not working directly with the coronavirus response. Around 700 total full-time employees across seven states and 12 markets have been furloughed temporarily.

While the outbreak has caused “unprecedented demand for health care services,” it also caused other services to decline.

The furloughs affect employees who are unable to work due to temporary closure, cancellation and low census in primary care and outpatient and surgical services. It also impacts many support services associates who are not directly working on COVID-19 activities.

The total number of employees furloughed is 700 total full-time equivalents across seven states and 12 markets have been furloughed. That is less than 1% of the 51-hospital system’s total workforce of 60,000.

Hiring for positions not directly impacting COVID-19 and care responses will be suspended, Bon Secours said in a statement.

“These decisions will help our ministry preserve life and provide vital health care services to the increasing number of patients that require care; be good stewards of our resources and provide adequate support to our caregivers as they care for our communities and be thoughtful about caring for those associates whose roles are vitally important to our ministry but are not directly supporting patient care during this time of crisis,” Bon Secours said.

The temporary furlough is expected to last 30 to 90 days.

Affected associates will be paid for working through April 3, and then available PTO hours will be paid until depleted.

Associates are eligible for unemployment benefits.

“It is critically important to note that the decisions made are in no way a reflection of our associates’ contributions or the great care provided to our people and communities. The efforts of our entire team, combined with the tough decisions we are making today, will enable us to continue to focus on the COVID-19 response, which we expect to escalate in the coming weeks, and ensure ongoing compassionate care for years to come,” Bon Secours said. “Our frontline caregivers are serving with compassion, professionalism and courage as we care for our patients, and we support their tireless efforts.”

The Bon Secours Mercy Health Foundation has generously provided $60 million to the Bon Secours Mercy Health Associate Emergency Fund, which will help associates facing serious financial challenges.

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