The Meadows Casino

Observer-Reporter

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

About 180 employees at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino are facing permanent furloughs, according to a June WARN report on the state Department of Labor & Industry website.

Employees at The Meadows’ off-track betting site in Harmar Township, Allegheny County, also will be laid off, raising the total to 200-plus.

The layoffs are to take effect Aug. 15, according to the report. WARN is an acronym for Worker Adjustment and Retaining Notification Act, a federal statute that requires employers with 100 or more employees to give 60 calendar days of notice of closing or mass layoffs.

The report reads: Washington Trotting Accusation (should be Association), d/b/a The Meadows Race Track and Casino, 210 Racetrack Road, Washington, PA 15301, Affecting 180.

Those furloughs are among more than 26,000 employees that Penn National Gaming Inc., parent of the North Strabane Township facility, has had to furlough during the coronavirus pandemic. Penn National operates 41 gaming and racing facilities and numerous video gaming terminal sites.

Eric Schippers Sr., vice president of Public Affairs & Government Relations for Penn National, said in a prepared statement:

“Based on the sudden and unforeseeable events in March, we were forced to furlough 26,000 of our team members in April. At the time, we were hopeful that we’d be able to call the employees back within a couple of months. However, while we have been able to reopen some of our properties on a limited basis, the continued social distancing requirements and uncertain business volumes means our properties will not be able to resume normal operations for the foreseeable future.

“After thoroughly reevaluating our business in light of the ongoing pandemic, we wanted to communicate honestly and openly with our team members that it could be some time before all of our remaining properties are open, and that those properties that are open will unfortunately not require the same level of staffing due to limitations and restrictions placed on occupancy and offerings to create a safer environment.

“As a result, we informed our team members that their furloughs may be converted to a permanent layoff in the coming weeks or months. We had a legal obligation to send a formal WARN notice to all the team members who could potentially be laid off. To be clear, however, that does not necessarily mean that all those team members will be laid off.

“These are extremely challenging times both on a personal and a professional level, but the steps we have taken to this point, and plan to take going forward, are all aimed at positioning our company and the majority of our team members to be able to weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side.”

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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