GIA Cuts Staff, Salaries

The Gemological Institute of America reduced its workforce Thursday by 11 percent across “all departments on both coasts,” the Institute confirmed to JCK. In addition, executives took a 10 percent pay cut.

“We are in a deep recession and there is a liquidity crisis,” said its spokeswoman. “All aspects of the gem and jewelry industry have been severely affected. And when the pipeline is affected, we are affected.”

This will “somewhat slow” GIA’s international expansion plans, the spokeswoman said. The Institute also closed its Los Angeles school recently.

“We were as generous as we could be with people,” the spokeswoman said. “We did as many things as we could do to avoid this.”

She added that those leaving Thursday got a 60-day paid administrative leave with full pay and benefits, additional two-weeks severance, job search assistance, and unemployment benefit information.

After the 60 days, former employeees are eligible for a minimum of two weeks severance pay, plus one additional week for every completed year of service.