Yankees create $1.4 million distress fund for employees impacted by coronavirus pandemic

Yahoo Sports

The New York Yankees are trying to ease the burden some of their employees have felt as a result of the coronavirus. The team announced a $1.4 million distress fund Thursday, which will cover expenses for those impacted by the pandemic.

The grant initiative will help both full-time and part-time employees.

Yankees employees have to submit paperwork to see if they are eligible for assistance. The Yankees explained what that would entail — and which employees would be eligible — in a follow-up tweet.

How can Yankees employees get approved for the grant?

There’s a lot covered in the team’s two-page statement, but here are the basics:

  • The team will grant assistance for “certain personal, family, living or funeral needs” caused by the coronavirus.

  • In order to be eligible, an employee must have been scheduled to work during the 2020 season.

  • The employee must have also worked for the team in 2019 — the number of hours needed here differ based on the employee’s position.

  • The employee must live in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Pennsylvania.

  • Expenses will be paid out if an employee can prove those expenses were caused as a result of the coronavirus, and were not covered by insurance or public assistance.

  • Employees will have to fill out a form on the Yankees’ website to apply for the grant initiative.

  • The Yankees will then review those applications, determine whether an employee is eligible and figure out how much money that employee will receive.

That seems like a lot of hoops for employees to jump through, but some of the wording in the Yankees’ release was likely due to the team’s legal department covering itself. Hypothetically, employees who can prove they lost out on money due to games being postponed should get the money — or at least a portion of it — they would have made.

Yankees try to do something good with $1.4 million employee grant

It remains to be seen how well the team will actually delivers on this promise — and how easy it will be for employees to get approved — but, for now, it seems like a nice gesture by the Yankees. While other sports franchises have announced a desire to assist employees, no team has rolled out a program like this yet ... at least publicly. The fact that the Yankees are being transparent about how the grant initiative will operate is also refreshing. You can quibble with the team’s process, but at least it is being open about it.

Major League Baseball still trying to start season

It’s unclear how long the Major League Baseball season will be postponed. The league is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of discouraging groups of 50-plus people from gathering. That edict will extend until mid May. It seems unlikely the MLB season will start at that point considering the league hasn’t re-opened spring training yet.

If the season continues to get pushed back, the Yankees — and every other team — may have to consider altering or adding money to their grant to get workers the funds they need.

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