"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 going forward," Eric Schippers, Sr. Vice President of Public Affairs & Government Relations for Penn National Gaming said in a statement
The company filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry informing the state that it could lay off up to 64 employees. at the property in East Hanover Township.
"We informed our team members that their furloughs may be converted to a permanent layoff in the coming weeks or months. We had a legal obligation to send a formal WARN notice to all the team members who could potentially be laid off. To be clear, however, that does not necessarily mean that all those team members will be laid off," Schippers explained.
If the layoffs are permanent, the 64 people could be laid off on Sept. 15 or within two weeks of that date.
"These layoffs at Penn National Gaming are the unfortunate result of COVID-19 related business circumstances that were sudden, dramatic and beyond our control," the company said in the WARN notice. "The impact on our business was not reasonably foreseeable until now. We simply could not foresee, that the initial closures of our properties, that were issued by one or two states for a limited period of time, ultimately spread throughout all the states in which we operate and eventually be extended, interrupting almost all business and travel temporarily. These significant drags on our business will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Finally, we could not have anticipated when our properties would be allowed to reopen and how restrictive the new operating conditions would be, and the negative impact this would have on business volumes."
In March, the company furloughed 26,000 employees at its properties because of state shutdowns due to COVID-19. Hollywood Casino closed that month when Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses. The casino reopened on Friday.
Penn National Gaming previously filed a WARN notice with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry informing the state that the company could lay off 233 people at its corporate headquarters at 825 Berkshire Blvd. in Wyomissing and at 3980 Howard Hughes Parkway in Las Vegas, Nevada beginning Aug. 15.
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.