VMFA furloughs 221 part-time staffers, effective April 26
Museum director says action will allow employees to apply for federal money
In an email to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts members, Director and CEO Alex Nyerges said Friday that all part-time wage staff members who are “not performing mission-critical services” will be furloughed, effective April 26. The furlough will affect 221 people, a spokesperson said.
This will give the employees an opportunity to apply for more unemployment compensation, Nyerges wrote, including an additional $600 a week provided by the federal government through the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.
“Our plan had been to keep employees working or, if there was no work, being paid for emergency leave under the Public Health Emergency Leave policy,” Nyerges wrote. “With that leave soon to expire, we must change our strategy, while also streamlining operations.”
VMFA employs 792 people, which will decrease to 571 after the furlough, said Jan Hatchette, VMFA’s deputy director of communications. The Richmond-based museum closed March 14 and is set to reopen June 10, when Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order expires.