Lee Health announces voluntary leave, buyouts for employees

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

Lee Health said it will begin offering voluntary buyouts and voluntary leave for employees due to the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The health system is Lee County’s largest employer with 14,500 people, and nearly all of them will be offered a voluntary buyout or a voluntary “summer sabbatical.”

The buyout will include a “generous severance payout,” according to Lee Health, while the leave program will allow an employee to take four to six weeks off during the summer with or without pay.

Lee Health said some employees will be excluded for business or operational purposes.

A statement from Lee Health said admission and surgery volumes are down 50 to 55 percent due to the pandemic, and the company said earlier this month it was projecting an $85 million loss for March and April.

“These reductions in volumes were the right thing to do for our patients and our community, but they also came with financial implications that we expect will have an impact on our budget for months, if not years, to come,” said Larry Antonucci, Lee Health president and CEO.

“We have taken steps to reduce non-essential operating expenses, but the magnitude of COVID-19’s impact on our health system requires us to take action to align our staffing with the volume of patients we are seeing today and in the coming future.”

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