Marriott International is poised to place tens of thousands of employees on furlough as the hotel giant reels from the coronavirus outbreak, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The travel industry is grappling with a tidal wave of cancelations as Americans heed public warnings to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Marriott, which had about 174,000 employees globally at the end of 2019, said the furloughs will affect all types of workers, the Journal reported. They won’t be paid their salaries during their time away from the company, but they will receive health care benefits.
Marriott representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The company reportedly hopes to bring the workers back onto its payroll as soon as practicable when the pandemic subsides.
Coronavirus payment relief:How utility, phone and internet companies are giving consumers a break
It’s not just toilet paper:People line up to buy guns, ammo over coronavirus concerns
The move marks the first major announcement of layoffs or furloughs tied to the coronavirus crisis. Restaurant chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks are limiting their restaurants to carry-out or drive-through, while most public event venues have shuttered.
Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world with 1.38 million rooms worldwide. The company’s brands include its namesake hotel chain, Westin, Sheraton, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance Hotels.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.