Carolina Hurricanes will stop paying full-time employees next week

RALEIGH, N.C.—Carolina Hurricanes full-time employees were informed Wednesday they will no longer be paid after this week because of the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Don Waddell, president and general manager of the Hurricanes, instructed all noncontracted full-time employees to immediately use their accrued vacation time and personal time off (PTO). Employees without available vacation time or PTO will be off without pay.

Waddell did not indicate how long the policy might be in place in his emailed communication with the employees, nor indicate how their health benefits and other employee benefits would be affected. The policy does not affect contracted employees such as senior management, coaches or scouts.

The News & Observer received copies of the communique sent to employees. Waddell could not immediately be reached for comment.

“We have been exploring multiple options on how best to take care of our employees while being mindful of the business challenges we face,” Waddell said in the directive.

The Hurricanes directive comes a day after the NHL general managers held a conference call to discuss the effects of the pandemic and the financial impact it could have on the remainder of the 2019-20 season —suspended since March 12 — or the start of the 2020-21 season.

The Boston Bruins’ parent company, Delaware North, on Wednesday announced that 68 salaried full-time employees would be placed on temporary leave, receiving one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits. It said 82 of the full-time salaried employees would receive an “indefinite salary reduction.”

Waddell, in his email, said team owner Tom Dundon “has been very supportive of trying to keep everyone paid and working as much as possible.” He also noted the Canes, like all other NHL teams, are in “uncharted waters.”

The Hurricanes said Monday that they were temporarily closing the team offices at PNC Arena on Tuesday. They said hockey and business operations would continue, with employees working remotely.

The Hurricanes on March 17 announced they would cover the lost wages of their arena staff and part-time events staff for the seven final home games of the regular-season.

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