GIA Slashes Staff, Salaries

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

“[The United States is] 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 recently closed its Los Angeles school.

“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, who include employees who had been there for decades, got a 60-day paid administrative leave with full pay and benefits, additional two-week severance, job search assistance, and unemployment benefit information.

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