A New Jersey hospital is asking volunteer employees to accept layoffs in order to help deal with its financial issues amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Shore Medical Center, located in Somers Point, New Jersey, sent a letter to employees stating they had invested “significant resources” on equipment to protect their staff who are treating COVID-19 patients. They also said they were experiencing a “dramatic decrease in revenues” after they canceled elective surgeries and other scheduled services while protecting staff and patients.
“In an effort to reduce the number of involuntary staff reductions Shore Medical Center is first asking for volunteers who may be interested in accepting a layoff,” a spokesperson wrote. “Perhaps, prior to COVID-19, you have thought about leaving the organization, for one reason or another, in the next few months? If you are interested in volunteering for layoff, we may be able to meet that need dependent on department operations.”
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
The spokesperson also said accepting layoffs was “strictly voluntary,” stating that not all employees who volunteered would be laid off, those who were approved will be allowed to continue their medical benefits coverage and Shore Medical will waive their normal paying contribution through May 2, 2020.
Shore Medical Center spokesman Brian Cahill sent a statement to NBC10 confirming the letter.
“We are doing what is necessary to provide our clinical teams on the front line with everything they need to treat our patients and remain safe,” Cahill wrote. “This includes making difficult decisions on allocating resources from other areas.”
“We are also trying to avoid what is happening or is likely to happen with other hospitals, including closures and mass layoffs. We have been asked by employees to have an option to be laid off and we want to make sure that option is available to everyone.”
Employees who want to be laid off have until 4 p.m. Tuesday to contact their manager, according to the letter.