A blockbuster story from the Washington Post details how hospitality industry employers who received millions in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds have not passed the money on to workers in the form of wages and benefits. The article shows how Omni Hotels, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, and Earl Enterprises, the Orlando-based umbrella for Buca di Beppo and Bertucci’s restaurants, have declined so far to retain most of their staff on their payrolls.
One of the most galling aspects of this failure is that, as COVID-19 continues to threaten lives across the country, some furloughed employees have been kicked off company health insurance because employers are not funding their premiums. For instance, Omni Hotels company has declined union requests to continue to pay health insurance for furloughed workers. For furloughed Fairmont Grand Del Mar workers to maintain their health insurance, they have to send money back to the company to cover part of the insurance cost.
“It’s pretty cruel kicking people off of their health insurance in the middle of the pandemic,” said Christopher Cook, 47, who has worked 22 years at the Omni Providence, mostly in the purchasing department. His family lost the company insurance on June 1. “If they received that [government] money — that’s mind blowing to me.”
Read the full story here.