Founders Brewing furloughs more than 100 employees from Grand Rapids, Detroit taprooms


Founders Brewing Co. furloughed 163 employees as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement from the brewery, this decision only affects Founders’ retail staff who work at the temporarily closed taprooms in Grand Rapids and Detroit, and most of those affected are hourly workers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our business and industry hard,” said Mike Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Founders Brewing. “We did not take this decision lightly and hope to bring back our furloughed staff as soon as possible.”

Founders closed it tap rooms March 13 as required by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, but the company, until now, continued to pay retail staff.

“This week, we announced the difficult decision to furlough those team members starting May 3 until we have better clarity on where we as a business, and society, go from here,” Stevens said.

Founders said it will continue to cover 100% of furloughed employees’ contributions to insurance benefits, such as medical, dental, vision and company-provided life, long-term disability and short-term disability until further notice.

No Founders employee outside of the retail staff was furloughed at this time.

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