MLB teams will be allowed to furlough employees or reduce their pay starting in May, report says


Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred will inform teams on Monday of a plan that will allow clubs to furlough employees or reduce their pay, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The decision will suspend Uniform Employees Contracts, which can allow a withholding of pay in the event of a national emergency.

Here’s more from Rosenthal:

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.

The Uniform Player Contracts contain a similar provision to the UECs, allowing Manfred to withhold pay in the event of a national emergency. President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, and players and owners reached an agreement two weeks later on how players would be paid in the event of a shortened or canceled season.

The suspension of employees’ contracts will allow clubs to discuss a variety of adjustments, including the deferral of pay, Rosenthal adds. The suspension will allow clubs to continue the furloughed employees’ health benefits.

A Major League club’s nonplaying personnel includes managers and coaches at both the major- and minor-league levels, some front-office staffers and scouts. As our own RJ Anderson reported earlier this month, a number of teams had issued notice to segments of their scouting departments that they could be furloughed come May, with pro scouts who focus on the minors figuring to take the brunt of the hit.

MLB and the MLBPA resolved several shutdown-related issues last month, including player compensation. Players will receive the prorated portion of their salary in 2020, so, if 81 games are played, players will receive half their salary. MLB advanced the union $170 million as part of the agreement, which won’t have to be paid back if the season is canceled.¬†

MLB also may reportedly¬†ask players to take additional pay cut if games are played without fans. Due to the growing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, 2020 Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May, and it could be moved back even further as the situation develops. One of the reported plans for baseball’s return includes playing all games in Arizona, without fans and with all players and personnel quarantined.





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