Philadelphia 76ers & New Jersey Devils’ Staff Notified Of Pay Cuts Due To Coronavirus
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the shutting down of the NBA and it’s league counterparts, the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils has notified its full-time staff that they will be subject to temporary pay cuts and four-day work weeks.
The pay cuts will begin as soon as next month and will affect full-time employees who make $50,000 or more and will go as high as 20% for those making $70,000 or more, sources told ESPN. The teams are expected to ask contracted front-office employees to take similar cuts.
“As we navigate this evolving COVID-19 environment, we are mindful of the long-term impact the suspension of live events and games will have on our organization and industry,” said Scott O’Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, in a statement sent to the employees. “To ensure we can continue to support and operate our businesses during these uncertain times without reducing our workforce, we are asking our full-time, salaried employees to temporarily reduce their pay by up to 20 percent and move to a four-day week. We are committed to playing an ongoing role in funding efforts to help the most impacted residents in our home cities.”
This pay reduction includes players and coaches. Everyone asked to participate in the salary reduction have until Thursday to agree to the pay cut, and it will begin on April 15.
In a memo sent to teams Friday, the NBA said it plans to deliver players their full salaries due on April 1. However, the league is left open the possibility of recouping future salaries for canceled games on April 15, based on the force majeure provision in the collective bargaining agreement. Force majeure allows for the withholding of 1/92.6 of a player’s seasonal salary per canceled game based upon catastrophic circumstances. The provision encompasses several scenarios, including war, natural disasters, and epidemics/pandemics. (For the purposes of force majeure, the league considers each team to have played five preseason games, 82 regular-season games, and 5.6 playoff games.)
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