The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has laid off 168 employees in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
That includes 70% of its part-time staff and more than a third of its senior leadership team. The museum did not disclose its full staff count prior to the layoffs.
The Perot says school closures and the prohibition of large group events due to COVID-19 has made its current cost structure unsustainable. The museum’s doors have been closed since March 14.
“We worked tirelessly to avoid an outcome where we had to reduce our workforce, and, while we held on longer than most, our current cost structure was simply unsustainable,” the museum said in a written statement. “We had to adjust our employee count to the realities of the market when we do, in fact, re-open.”
Museum CEO Linda Silver says the museum’s board of directors approved the layoffs on Thursday, May 7. Impacted employees were notified on Monday, May 11.
The museum says it will keep paying affected employees through July 1. They’ll also receive benefits through July 31.
The Perot is just one of several cultural institutions across Texas and the country cutting staff to reduce costs. The Museum of Natural History in New York just last week announced it was laying off hundreds of workers.
Here’s the Perot Museum’s full statement:
“In response to the severe disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, followed by school closures and the prohibition of group events and activities, we have made the difficult decision at this time to reduce our workforce. Impacted employees, most of whom worked with us in a part-time capacity, are receiving additional compensation and transition assistance. While we deeply regret having to take this action, we believe it is the prudent and appropriate response to ensure our stability in the short term and resiliency over the longer term.”
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