A spokesman for Penn National Gaming, Inc. said in a statement the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the company's businesses.
Commenting on the pending layoffs at Penn's L'Auberge resorts in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, Eric Schippers, the company's senior vice president of public affairs and government relations said, "After thoroughly reevaluating our business in light of the ongoing pandemic, we wanted to communicate honestly and openly with our team members that it could be some time before all of our remaining properties are open, and that those properties that are open will unfortunately not require the same level of staffing due to limitations and restrictions placed on occupancy and offerings to create a safer environment.
"As a result, we informed our team members that their furloughs may be converted to a permanent layoff in the coming weeks or months...To be clear, however, that does not necessarily mean that all those team members will be laid off," said Schippers.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission has been notified that 441 employees at L'Auberge Lake Charles will be laid off in August as well as 161 workers at L'Auberge Baton Rouge.
This comes from the requirement of companies to file Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notices (WARN) if workers that are temporarily furloughed won't be rehired within six months.
According to Schippers, based on the "sudden and unforeseeable events in March," the company was forced to furlough 26,000 of their team members nationwide earlier this year in April.
"While we have been able to reopen most of our properties on a limited basis, the continued social distancing requirements and uncertain business volumes means our properties will not be able to resume normal operations for the foreseeable future," said Schippers.
The furloughed team members from both locations will have their Medical and Pharmacy benefits coverage extended through July 31 as well as be granted access to emergency funding assistance through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund.
"Our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, in which we've raised $1.7 million through private donations from our senior executives, board of directors, and our foundation, is also available to help our team members with any emergency funding needs. To date more than $415,000 has already been approved and processed for distribution to our team members in need," said Schippers. "These are extremely challenging times both on a personal and a professional level, but the steps we have taken to this point, and plan to take going forward, are all aimed at positioning our company and the majority of our team members to be able to weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side."