Cast & Crew Cuts Salaries, Announces Furloughs, Reduces Hours Due to Coronavirus

Reacting to the coronavirus pandemic, payroll specialist Cast & Crew has cut executive salaries, reduced staff hours and furloughed an unspecified number of employees on Thursday.

“Cast & Crew and companies across all industries have been focused on the well-being of their employees and their families, as well as the ongoing financial condition of the company,” said Eric Belcher, chief executive officer. “After evaluating our options given the temporary entertainment industry slowdown caused by COVID-19, we are taking several actions to align our costs to the economic situation in the industry we serve.”

The company provides services related to payroll, human resources, accounting, finance, workflow and productivity to the entertainment industry. It has about 700 employees.

Salary reductions include 50% for the executive management team members and 25% for vice presidents and other senior employees. The company also decreased hours for a portion of the staff and furloughed “a significant” percentage of employees for an unspecified period.

“The furlough approach –- as opposed to layoffs –- enables those affected to retain an employment relationship with the company during the furlough period,” the company said. “It also enables Cast & Crew to bring those individuals back to the company quickly and seamlessly when conditions improve.”

Furloughed employees will be provided with immediate payment for accrued vacation. Healthcare benefits will continue, and Cast & Crew will pay the total cost of employee and company premiums for health, dental and vision coverage. U.S. employees will be eligible, once furloughed, to apply for any federal compensation through recent government actions, as well as to apply for state unemployment insurance.

“Our goal is to successfully navigate through this period and minimize the negative impact,” Belcher said. “We then can resume full operations and bring our team back together when the situation turns around. We remain very optimistic regarding the future of the entertainment production industry, and our company’s place in it, once this unfortunate health crisis recedes. With the increasing demand for and consumption of streaming and other types of video content, we expect production to come roaring back as soon as travel restrictions and social distancing requirements are lifted.”

The company was founded in 1976 and its corporate headquarters are in Burbank, Calif. In 2018, it was sold by Silver Lake to the investment Fund EQT VIII for an undisclosed price.

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