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Citing economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic, Boulder to furlough 737 employees

The employees will be furloughed from April 19 to June 28, but still receive health insurance.

BOULDER, Colo. — The city of Boulder will furlough 737 employees “as a result of the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a news release distributed Tuesday afternoon.

Of those employees, 175 are full-time and 562 are seasonal or temporary. Their last day of work will be April 19, according to the release, and they will be placed on unpaid administrative leave through June 28. During that time, the city said it will pay for all of the impacted employees’ health insurance.

According to the release, Boulder anticipates a loss of $28 million – or 10% of its annual revenue – since the statewide stay-at-home order went into effect last month.

In addition to the furloughs, Boulder is also canceling or delaying capital improvement projects.

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“This is an unprecedented situation,” City Manager Jane Brautigam said in a news release. “Unlike a natural disaster or past economic downturns, the duration of this crisis is unknown.”

Boulder isn’t the only Colorado city that has had to cut back on employees due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The city of Broomfield is furloughing more than 200 employees.

Private businesses – notably ski resorts, restaurants, and hotels – have also furloughed thousands of employees.

According to Fortune, a furlough is basically an unpaid leave of absence and is often seen as a temporary measure. The person is technically still employed but is not getting paid. The expectation is that the worker may be brought back once the economic rough patch is over.

People who have been furloughed are eligible for unemployment in many cases.

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