ZEELAND, Mich. - Contract furniture giant Herman Miller laid off 300 employees around the world last week. The company says the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame.
 
Herman Miller filed a notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the reductions were both voluntary and involuntary.
 
“Combined, these actions resulted in the elimination of approximately 300 full-time positions throughout the Company in various businesses and functions as of May 14, 2020,” the SEC filing reads. The company says it could save around $32 million because of the cuts. More reductions may be necessary.
 
Herman Miller shut down its Michigan operations March 23 after Governor Whitmer's stay-at-home order was implemented. A week later, it reopened some manufacturing to produce medical equipment. Non-essential businesses in the state are just now beginning to reopen.
 
In March, the company's executives took paycuts. It also lowered salaried employees' pay 10 percent and suspended bonuses and raises.
 
Fellow furniture giant Knoll has also suffered from COVID, recently laying off 275 employees in Pennsylvania.
 
Herman Miller, the third largest company on the FDMC 300 list of North American woodworking companies, employs around 4,000 in West Michigan. It had an estimated $2.567 billion in sales for 2019. The company runs 10 manufacturing plants throughout North America and the world, and employs 7,600 workers in total. It's the second largest contract furniture company in North America - under Steelcase.

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