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Cintas Corp. trims staff, executive pay to battle COVID-19 downturn

Posted at 4:44 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 18:18:40-04

MASON, Ohio — Cintas Corp. has announced several cost-cutting measures due to “lower work volume” required by its customers in the COVID-19 crisis. The cuts include staff reductions, but Cintas won’t say how many.

The Mason-based company provides uniforms, restroom supplies, welcome mats and carpet/tile cleaning services to factories, office buildings and other corporate facilities that have cleared out in the last month as more employees work from home. Cintas declined to answer questions beyond a prepared statement, so it’s unclear what impact the coronavirus is having on company revenue.

“Cintas has made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce in Cincinnati,” the statement said. “This decision was not made lightly and is in addition to other steps taken including a reduction in executive compensation and eliminating all non-essential spending.”

Braulio Benitez joined Cintas in Chicago four years ago and relocated to Mason to be a product development manager in 2017, designing floor mats with company logos. He’s disappointed by the downsizing but appreciates the severance offered by the company.

“They’re handling it the best they can,” he said. “Luckily the experience that I have is somewhat unique, so I could stay within the industry. I’ve made some good connections with suppliers, so I’m taking some time right now to think about my next move.”

Benitez said employees were told of the cuts last Friday. He doesn’t know how many employees were let go.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has not received any information about the layoffs from Cintas, spokesman Bret Crow said. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires companies laying off more than 50 employees in a single location to issue a public notice at least 60 days before the layoffs take place. The U.S. Labor Department can make exceptions to the rule when “layoffs occur due to unforeseeable business circumstances, faltering companies and natural disasters,” according to the department’s web site.

Cintas said it will “provide severance and other resources for individuals who were let go in this process. Furloughed employee-partners will continue to be eligible to receive Cintas health and wellness benefits and we look forward to bringing them back as non-essential businesses re-open and our business volumes return to normal levels. Cintas continues to be an essential business as we are an important supplier to many of those who are the front lines of this crisis, and we’ll continue to do all that we can to take care of both our customers and our employee-partners.”