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13,000 American Airlines workers told to 'tear up' layoff notices after COVID bill passes

The $1.9 trillion bill approved by Congress Wednesday includes money to help cover payrolls.

American Airlines on Wednesday told 13,000 workers who were given layoff warning notices in February to "tear them up" after Congress passed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.

The American Rescue Plan includes funding to support payrolls. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom sent a letter to thousands of workers telling them jobs that were in jeopardy are now safe.

"For our 13,000 colleagues who received Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices last month, those are happily canceled -- you can tear them up!" they wrote in an email to workers. The executives also sounded an optimistic tone about the future as COVID-19 vaccinations increase across the country.

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The bill also provides $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, a tiny fraction of what was allocated in previous legislation. The bill also allows more nonprofits to apply for loans that are designed to help borrowers meet their payroll and operating costs and can potentially be forgiven.

There is also a new program for restaurants and bars hurt by the pandemic to receive $28.6 billion. The grants provide up to $10 million per company with a limit of $5 million per physical location. The grants can be used to cover payroll, rent, utilities and other operational expenses.

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