As we’ve noted, WWE made several talent and staff cuts on Wednesday as a part of their COVID-19 business update and changes.
Several producers were a part of the cuts – WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, Billy Kidman, Mike Rotunda, Pat Buck, Fit Finlay, Shawn Daivari, Scott Armstrong, Sarah Stock, Shane Helms, and Lance Storm. While Angle was released, the rest of the producers were furloughed and it’s believed that they will be brought back once WWE resumes regular live event touring, which should begin once the coronavirus pandemic is contained. It’s believed that a few other non-producer employees were furloughed as well, but not confirmed.
In an update, the furloughed employees received an information packet this week following the cuts, according to Wrestling Inc. The packet stated that they were being furloughed because of “the current level of work available as a result of COVID-19.” The coronavirus outbreak was referred to in the packet as an “unforeseen circumstance, akin to a natural disaster.” It could not be confirmed that each furloughed employee received the same packet detailed here, but it was sent to at least multiple people.
The furloughed producers were also told that they will remain on the payroll until this Saturday. Wednesday was their last official work day, but the furlough officially begins on Saturday.
The end date for the furlough is Wednesday, July 1 of this year. However, it was specified that this is subject to extension “given the current situation and ongoing uncertainties.”
It was also stated that while there is no definitive end date, it’s expected that the furlough will last fewer than 6 months. WWE reserves the right to extend or terminate the furlough at their discretion. It was also stated that WWE plans to keep furloughed employees informed of the decisions they make during that period. WWE hopes that the furlough will be sufficient, but they told the employees in the packet that layoffs may be necessary.
WWE will also cover health insurance contributions during the furlough period, for employees that are enrolled in the WWE health insurance plan. They will also retain their seniority with the company. Furloughed employees will not receive a paycheck during the period, but they may be eligible for unemployment benefits, in addition to federal benefits issued due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(H/T to Raj Giri of WINC)