Durham Bulls furlough half of front office staff

Four employees working for Coastal Plain League's Holly Spring Salamanders also among 24 employees

(Eamon Queeney / North State Journal)

The Durham Bulls are placing just over half of their front-office staff on furlough with Minor League Baseball on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Triple-A team in Durham, North Carolina, announced Wednesday that the changes are going into effect this week. The Bulls and parent company Capitol Broadcasting Company will offer full health benefits to affected employees, including to cover the employee portion of coverage costs.

Team vice president Mike Birling told The Associated Press that the front office consists of 44 employees, including four working with the Coastal Plain League team for summer college baseball in nearby Holly Springs. Birling said the furlough would impact 24 employees.

“These steps were made to allow staff to utilize the measures our federal government passed to support employees in these unique times,” Birling said in a statement released by the team. “This is an unprecedented time for sports. Not only is our season indefinitely on hold, but the only way to solve the crisis is to not engage in group gatherings which is essential to our business.”

The team said it will “remain in close contact” with staff to react quickly if a start date for the season is determined.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced April 3 they were furloughing about 55% of their full-time staff due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.