BROOKFIELD, IL — Brookfield Zoo announced Saturday that it was laying off a third of its staff temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic. The layoffs included staff who are not considered critically essential to support the minimum operations of the organization, the zoo said in a news release.
The pandemic has placed financial pressures on many businesses, including nonprofit groups such as the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, the release said. The zoo said it has been closed since March 19 and has practically no earned revenue stream available at this time. The laid-off employees will be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. They will continue to receive medical and other benefits "for a period of time," the release said.
In an attempt to assist with the society’s financial situation, the release said, it has applied for loans through the new stimulus bill.