The initial reports are the start of this ‘stay at home’ order suggested that MLB would be taking care of its employees. That appears to be changing with the latest update from Rob Manfred. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that teams are now being given the option to furlough employees they deem necessary to.
This comes just a few weeks after MLB had announced that employees would be paid out through April, despite the season being suspended indefinitely. Rosenthal elaborates a little bit on the Uniform Employee Contracts.
Effective May 1, Commissioner Rob Manfred will suspend Uniform Employee Contracts, enabling teams to furlough employees or reduce their pay, according to major-league sources. Teams would not be required to take such measures, but baseball’s decision would provide the possibility of relief for clubs facing the most significant financial duress as the 2020 season remains on hold.
It would ultimately be up to the teams to decide if they want to keep employees paid, but it is not a league requirement anymore. Those employees facing the furlough or decrease in pay include coaches, managers, instructors, scouts, and some front-office personnel. This includes every level of baseball, including the minor leagues. It’s unclear as of now how long this will last, as MLB is still looking to get a start date for baseball worked out.
The announcement is expected to come from MLB tomorrow, per Ronsethal’s report. The Giants, Phillies, and Braves had all previously announced that employees would be paid through May 31st. The Dodgers have previously allotted $1 million to pay stadium employees for games missed, but it is unclear how this announcement changes things for Los Angeles. The goal of this is reported to give teams a greater flexibility during the COVID-19 crisis.