In what seems like a crass move, properties owned by Terry and Kim Pegula--the same owners of the Buffalo Sabres--is laying off hospitality workers, including those at (716) Food and Sport, the Draft Room and the Healthy Scratch at Harborcenter, the Buffalo Sabres practice facility. But what really has those workers worried is the finer details.
According to The Athletic, when sports leagues resume play, there is no guarantee the affected workers will get their jobs back.
“As a valuable asset to our hospitality family when business returns to normalcy, we encourage you to come back and apply for an open position. You will be amongst the first considered to re-join our teams,” Dominic Verni, the vice president of hospitality with Pegula Sports and Entertainment, wrote in the termination letter obtained by The Athletic.
While being laid off isn't exactly the worst thing right now as it allows workers to apply for Employment Insurance, being told that you have to re-apply for your job when things return to normal and that there is no guarantee you might get it seems like a real slap in the face! But wait, it gets worse.
"Even if the employees are rehired and return to work, there has been no guarantee they’ll come back at their same rate of pay," The Athletic reported. "In addition, the organization is not paying out the Paid Time Off (PTO) that employees have accrued, citing a clause in their separation policy, according to a laid-off supervisor from the hospitality team."
The lay-offs do not include concession staff at KeyBank Center, where the Buffalo Sabres play their home games. Concessions there are run by Delaware North, a group owned by Jeremy Jacobs who also happens to own the Boston Bruins. However, those who work at the arena outside of concessions have been told they'll have to wait to see if the NHL cancels the entire season before receiving any cheques, despite the fact that most other owners have stepped up to pay their staff during the suspension of play.
By the way, in addition to the Sabres, Pegula Sports and Entertainment also owns the Buffalo Bills of the NFL, the Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.