CAA has dropped a bombshell today. The agency has confirmed rumors that it has let go of 90 agents and executives, and has furloughed 275 employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first layoff exercise that the agency has gone through, to this point, though technically the affected hourly employees aren’t being let go, they are being shelved for now. The agency will pay their health benefits through the length of the furlough, and those impacted can apply for unemployment to take some of the sting out of it.
Those furloughed are primarily assistants, receptionists, mailroom and others whose roles are needed only when the agency is operating from headquarters. CAA vacated its Century City space in mid-March.
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The agency just released this statement, but would not break down the number of agents let go from the company. The layoffs include agents and executives from departments across the company. Those who were just laid off will be given a collective payment and benefits package that will essentially keep them financially whole through October, the end of CAA’s fiscal year. That will be small solace to agents who have to try finding jobs in an unimaginably difficult period:
“CAA began working remotely earlier this year due to the pandemic. Everyone at the company participated in reducing compensation with the hope that we could keep all employees financially whole through the end of our fiscal year, September 30th, 2020.
We are honoring that commitment, including for those impacted by today’s announcement.
But, with greater visibility into the COVID-19 challenges of fiscal year 2021, we have made the difficult decision to implement workforce reductions, in addition to our ongoing cost-saving measures.
Effective this week, approximately 90 agents and executives from departments across the agency will be leaving. In addition, we are furloughing approximately 275 assistants and other staff. The company will continue to fully pay the health plan premiums for those being furloughed.
This is a painful and unprecedented moment, and words are insufficient. Today, we simply say that we extend our sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude to our departing colleagues.”
In April, CAA announced a plan to weather the coronavirus pandemic, with no layoffs, but companywide paycuts up to 50% on a progressive scale and CAA toppers Richard Lovett, Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane all taking no salary for the year. The agency’s top earners were subjected to the high end of the percentage pay-cut scale.
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