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Fitness service ClassPass lays off or furloughs 53% of employees amid coronavirus

Olivia Cross
Social Media Editor

The American fitness company ClassPass is laying off or furloughing roughly half of its workforce amid the devastating economic effects related to the coronavirus pandemic, Yahoo Finance has learned.

"As we speak, you're being removed from all Slack channels, your computer's being wiped clean, your Gmail account is being deactivated,” a ClassPass employee told Yahoo Finance. The person added that the company Slack included about 480 employees, hundreds fewer than previously. Corporate emails were also being deactivated.

A ClassPass spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo Finance that “53% of ClassPass employees were impacted — 22% of our team has been laid off and 31% of our team has been furloughed, with the hope that we will be able to bring them back.”

A ClassPass location on Friday July 24, 2015. (Photo: Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images )

Kinsey Livingston, VP of Partnerships for ClassPass and Will Sebern Director, Partner Development at ClassPass delivered the message to the recently fired employees via a private Zoom conference call, according to the employee.

“She didn't give much detail,” the person said. “She basically said that we will receive more information soon, but that our health insurance will be good to go until June 20th. Then she just started apologizing for everything. But there was nothing, no talk of like ‘Once this is all over, there's a good chance that you'll receive your job back.’”

ClassPass Founder and CEO Payal Kadakia speaks onstage at the inaugural Girlboss Rally on March 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Girlboss)

The subscription service offers a variety of classes — such as yoga, barre, pilates, boxing, and indoor cycling — and use of health clubs. Like many other companies in the previously booming industry, ClassPass has drastically cut back operations as most Americans are mostly confined to their homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“ClassPass is one of many fitness and wellness businesses who have felt an enormous impact from COVID-19,” the company said in a statement. “Over the past few weeks, we instituted cost-saving measures in an attempt to delay or eliminate the need for a reduction in our workforce. However, our revenue has decreased by more than 95% and we have made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount while doing everything we can to support impacted individuals.”

Coronavirus cases are still on the rise. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

ClassPass recently launched several initiatives to adapt the business amid coronavirus, including:

  • A multi-series initiative to help combat the effect the coronavirus has had on the fitness industry, including a Change.org petition asking for financial assistance to support the workforce, shedding light that thousands of fitness instructors, front desk staff, cleaning teams and venue managers are without work.”

  • Live workouts with over 500 studios adding bookable classes and 100% of livestream class proceeds going directly to studios. Those classes could be booked without a subscription, and individuals were able to pay as they go.

  • The entire ClassPass library of 2,000+ prerecorded audio and video workouts completely free for everyone, with no subscription required.

  • The ability to donate directly to studios through the ClassPass app with the promise that the company would match up to $1 million in those donations.

READ MORE: 'It's unfathomable': Fitness companies describe how coronavirus derailed the booming industry

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