People walk in front of the MGM Resorts International Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Joe Buglewicz | Bloomberg via Getty Images
MGM Resorts International is sending out separation letters Friday to 18,000 furloughed employees throughout the United States.
MGM’s Empire City remains closed in New York state, as does its Park MGM in Las Vegas. Casinos in Las Vegas, where MGM has an outsized presence on the Strip, continue to be especially affected by declines in tourism and travel, restrictions on capacity, the lack of fans at sports events and negligible conference and group business.
At the start of this year, the company employed 70,000 workers in the U.S.
“Nothing pains me more than delivering news like this,” CEO Bill Hornbuckle wrote in the separation letter to employees. “The heart of this company is our employees and the world-class service you provide. Please know that your leadership team is working around the clock to find ways to grow our business and welcome back more of our colleagues.”
The company said it will extend health benefits for furloughed employees until Sept. 30. It’s promising workers who are recalled before the end of the year that they will retain their seniority.
Federal law requires workers to be given a separation date if they’re furloughed for longer than six months. Aug. 31 marks six months of administrative separation for the furloughed MGM employees.