By Harvey Hoffman

The pandemic is finally taking a bite out of Monumental Sports & Entertainment employees.

The Capitals, Wizards, Mystics and Capital One Arena informed employees yesterday that top earners will be taking a pay cut, The Athletic is reporting.

The NHL and NBA seasons have been suspended since mid-March; along with the District of Columbia’s edict that month closing all local businesses that house large gatherings, Capital One Arena has been dark for weeks, putting a big dent in the company’s finances. And although both sports leagues are formulating plans to return later this summer, current plans call for the Capitals and Wizards to play all of their games away from Capital One Arena.

In an email to staff, MSE announced that, effective July 12, the base salary of employees earning more than $75,000 will be reduced by 20 percent, with adjustments to ensure no one in that group has their salary go below $75,000. Employees earning less than $75,000 will not be affected. At this time, contract employees also will not be impacted.

The salary reductions come on top of a hiring freeze, suspended annual increases and bonuses and other cost-cutting measures. The pay cuts will be reflected in checks distributed at the end of the month and will remain in effect through “at least” the end of 2020, with a review of the businesses conducted every 100 days, according to the internal announcement.

“We considered many alternatives, but believe this choice is the best option at this time,” the email read in part.

Ted Leonsis, MSE’s founder, chairman and CEO (above), and his partners have suspended their compensation entirely, and all members of the senior leadership team have taken a 20-percent salary reduction since April 20, the email said.

The email also noted that the pay reduction is in line with decisions made by the NHL and NBA to reduce the salaries of those leagues’ higher compensated non-contract employees.

“Our goal is to protect as many employees as possible during this unprecedented experience,” the email said.

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