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Louisville To Furlough 380 Workers Due To Pandemic-Driven Budget Crunch

Louisville Mayor, Metro Hall, Louisville
Louisville Mayor, Metro Hall, Louisville

This story has been updated.

Starting May 3, Louisville Metro will put about 380 employees on unpaid leave indefinitely, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday.

He said the furloughs will apply mainly to those who cannot telework, including library staff and school crossing guards. Some workers have been reassigned, such as parks and recreation workers who have been shifted from community centers to maintaining parks and mowing vacant lots.

"My goal is to be able to recall these employees back to work as soon as this current crisis eases, and when their duties are required and their workplaces are open again and ready to start serving the public," Fischer said.

He thanked Metro employees and said he wished he did not need to make this decision.

Fischer said furloughed employees will maintain their positions and benefits, and will be eligible to apply for state and federal unemployment insurance.

On April 23, Fischer will present a tentative budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 to the Metro Council. He and other officials have warned it will involve cuts because tax revenues are thought to have already dropped significantly during the pandemic.

Fischer also announced an increase of 47 in confirmed coronavirus cases, for a total of 768 since early March. One of those is a Louisville Metro Police officer. That department has so far had three other confirmed cases.

The COVID-19 death toll in Louisville has reached 61, with the addition of four deaths since Thursday, Fischer said.

He said 310 Louisville residents with COVID-19 have recovered.

his story has been updated to reflect the corrected number of furloughed employees provided by the city Friday evening.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.