270 employees at MGM Northfield to remain jobless because of COVID-19 pandemic

Jim Mackinnon
Akron Beacon Journal
MGM Northfield Park employees wear masks and stand behind a protective shield as part of the COVID-19 protections in place.

As many as 270 furloughed workers at the MGM Northfield Park gambling and entertainment complex will not be returning to work in at least the near future, parent MGM Resorts has announced.

The 270 local workers at the northern Summit County facility are among 18,000 MGM Resorts employees told last month that they will remain laid off.

These are not new layoffs but are people who the company said it has not been able to bring back to work. People were told in May that if they were not recalled by Aug. 31 that they would be “separated,” the company said.

MGM laid off and furloughed its employees at all U.S. facilities in March because of temporary coronavirus pandemic shutdowns. The company laid off about 63,000 of its 70,000 U.S. employees.

MGM Northfield subsequently reopened in June and remains open with about 590 employees who are not impacted by these just-announced layoffs, the company said Wednesday. The complex had more than 900 employees prior to the pandemic.

The company said it hopes to bring more employees back to work; those who lost their jobs on Monday will remain on a recall list.

The company said these latest layoff announcements were necessary because of federal law requiring companies to provide a date of separation for furloughed employees not recalled within six months. Aug. 31 marked the six-month date of separation.

MGM said that many areas around the United States continue to have strict limits on occupancy, public gatherings and what amenities are able to be open, and that has limited the company from bringing back many employees.

MGM Resorts said it has extended health benefits for the jobless employees who had health care plans through Sept. 30.

In addition, separated employees will continue to have access to an internal MGM Resorts portal called MyMGM where they can see and apply for jobs before openings are made public.

“Employees who return to work by Dec. 31, 2021, will retain their seniority and immediately resume their benefits,” Bill Hornbuckle, president and chief executive officer, said in a letter to employees on Aug. 28.

Current and former employees also be supported through the MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund, the letter says. Separated employees will be eligible for financial support from the fund through Nov. 29, the company said. The fund has distributed $12 million to separated employees since the start of the pandemic, the company said.

MGM Resorts subsidiary MGM Properties paid $1 billion in 2018 for the former Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park and renamed the place MGM Northfield Park.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.