HOUSTON - The Houston Museum of Natural Science is furloughing a majority of its staff due to the current circumstances caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.
A total of 337 employees, about 70% of the museum's staff, have been put on furlough Thursday morning.
These employees will still receive their benefits, including health insurance until at least May 31.
The remaining 144 employees will see their pay reduced by at least 15% effective immediately.
Below is the full statement from Houston Museum of Natural Science:
"Like many non-profit and for-profit organizations across the country, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is adjusting to the challenging circumstances resulting from the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the consequent shut down of the economy.
Given the significant financial impact on our organization, we are continually evaluating expenses, re-defining objectives and streamlining processes to ensure that the museum is able to resume operations once this crisis has passed.
As part of that process, we have arrived at the difficult decision to furlough 337 employees, 70% of our total staff, effective immediately.
All furloughed employees remain eligible for health insurance and other benefits until at least May 31st.
We also strongly encourage all furloughed employees to file for unemployment benefits and to take advantage of all other “safety net” programs —including those that may provide deferment/forgiveness of student loans, credit card payments, rent & mortgage payments, utilities, insurance and more.
In addition, the pay of all remaining 144 employees will also be reduced by at least 15% effective immediately; and we will continue to monitor the city-, state- and nation-wide situation as it develops and take additional actions if warranted.
Our goal is to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever, and to re-assemble our world-class team, all of whom are part of the HMNS family. Their skills, passion, knowledge and commitment built HMNS, and it is our firm belief that we will soon be able to welcome them back—along with our members and visitors—to the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the very near future.
If anyone would like to assist HMNS in accomplishing that goal sooner than later, please visit us at www.hmns.org.."