Uptown legend Commander’s Palace and French Quarter fine-dining behemoth Arnaud’s are among several New Orleans businesses that have reported to the Louisiana Workforce Commission that they are laying off employees for a period of longer than six months, reported NOLA.com Thursday.
Commander’s Palace reported it will lay off 240 employees, accounting for most roles except for “a few key management jobs.” Arnaud’s reported 150 laid-off employees. A handful of hotels also reported layoffs, with permanent cuts at The Wyndham and the Hyatt Regency, 124 layoffs at The Roosevelt hotel (home to the world-renowned Sazerac Bar), and 666 at the Hilton Riverside. The businesses are required to report the layoffs through the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications when they don’t plan to rehire employees in the next six months. The total number of planned layoffs reported is 1,500.
Commander’s Palace has remained closed for dine-in service since the start of New Orleans’s stay-at-home order, reopening for takeout in May. Arnaud’s also closed entirely in March, reopening for dine-in service on Saturday nights only in June. The restaurant just suspended that as well, saying on its website that it “will resume normal operations when we feel it is safe for our team members and our guests.”
In response to a request for comment, Commander’s Palace sent a statement saying “the WARN act requires us by law to inform our employees that we do not anticipate re-hiring them 6 months after their lay off this past March. In the present situation we cannot guarantee when we will be open, therefore because of the law, we needed to communicate that to our past employees.”
There were 111,056 jobless residents across seven New Orleans-area parishes as of July 18, according to the state’s unemployment rolls. New Orleans and Jefferson, the two largest parishes in the region, saw the highest numbers of unemployed workers. For info on worker relief, hunger relief, and volunteer opportunities in the New Orleans area, see Eater’s guide here.
Update: August 13, 2020, 1:20 p.m.: This post has been updated with a comment from Commander’s Palace.
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