Founders furloughs 163 workers due to COVID-19

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Founders Brewing Co. announced it’s furloughing more than 160 workers in Michigan due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it will affect 163 retail staff members who worked at the taprooms in Grand Rapids and Detroit. During the furlough, which starts May 3, Founders said it will continue to cover 100% of their affected staff’s contributions to insurance benefits.

Both taprooms have been closed since Friday, March 13 due to coronavirus concerns. Founders said it continued to pay retail staff based on their average number of hours worked since the closures.

Founders Brewing Co. CEO Mike Stevens released the following statement Wednesday:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our business and industry hard. Founders has been very fortunate to have continued paying our retail teams since we closed our tap rooms on March 13th. However, this week we announced the difficult decision to furlough those team members starting May 3rd until we have better clarity on where we as a business, and society, go from here. We did not take this decision lightly and hope to bring back our furloughed staff as soon as possible.”