With employees of some teams, including the Washington Nationals, uncertain of their employment status beyond the end of the month, Major League Baseball on Monday made it easier for teams to institute layoffs, furloughs or pay reductions as the 2020 season remains delayed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension of MLB’s Uniform Employee Contracts paves the way for teams to begin reducing payroll costs, though it does not require it. Language in those standard contracts grants Commissioner Rob Manfred the power to suspend them in the event of a national emergency, which President Trump declared March 13.

“Our clubs rely heavily on revenue from tickets/concessions, broadcasting/media, licensing and sponsorships to pay salaries,” Manfred wrote in an email Monday, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, which first reported the move. “In the absence of games, these revenue streams will be lost or substantially reduced, and clubs will not have sufficient funds to meet their financial obligations.”

The 2020 season has been on hold since the rest of spring training was canceled March 12, and there is no firm indication as to when or if the regular season can begin.

Various teams have taken different approaches to guaranteeing paychecks to UEC-covered employees — including major league and minor league managers and coaches, scouts and some front-office personnel — during the shutdown. The Nationals are among those that have promised to pay employees through the end of this month. In an email sent to full-time staff April 13, managing principal owner Mark Lerner sought to allay concerns.

“We know it has not been easy,” Lerner said in the email, according to people who had seen it. “We are so grateful for your dedication and commitment to this team. We know this is a very unsettling time for everyone. … [We] are doing all we can to make sure we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. With that singular goal in mind, we want to assure you that full-time front office staff will receive their full pay and benefits through at least April 30.”

Though Lerner wrote the club wanted to “alleviate some of the worry” employees might have, some employees remain unsettled and took the email to mean their pay could be curtailed as soon as May 1. Several employees in various positions across the organization, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they understood their full pay could be in jeopardy if the season is significantly shortened or wiped out completely, but the uncertainty beyond May 1 was causing some anxiety as that date approaches.

Lerner followed up Monday with another email to employees saying that Manfred’s decision would not impact the club’s vow to pay baseball staff through April 30. According to one employee, the message added, “Over the coming days, we will continue to work on plans for May and communicate those decisions to the staff.” Monday’s memo was first reported by the Athletic.

The Baltimore Orioles also have guaranteed employees they would be paid through the end of April, and one employee said ownership was expected to clarify the situation further during an all-employee “town hall” conference call Friday.

But other teams across the major leagues have gone further to address employees’ paycheck concerns. The Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants are among the teams that have reportedly guaranteed their employees full pay through the end of May. One Colorado Rockies staffer said Monday that team employees have been reassured they will continue to be paid throughout the shutdown, though that policy was not spelled out in writing.

At MLB’s central office, employees recently were informed they would be paid at least through May 31, with Manfred and other high-ranking staff taking pay cuts averaging 35 percent.

On March 17, MLB announced its teams would contribute $1 million each to assist ballpark workers who found themselves out of work because of the shutdown, with Manfred saying owners were “motivated by a desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community.”

“I fully recognize the hardship that this health crisis creates for all members of the baseball community," Manfred said in his email Monday, according to the AP. "Central baseball and the clubs are doing everything possible to try to minimize this impact for as many employees as possible.”

Player compensation is a separate issue, collectively bargained with the MLB Players Association. Last month, the sides reached agreement on a deal that would pay players collectively 4 percent of their total salaries in the event of a canceled season — or $170 million total — and prorated salaries for a reduced 2020 schedule based on the number of games played.

MLB has explored the idea of playing a reduced 2020 season in Arizona, isolating players and other essential personnel within a protective quarantine bubble and playing games without fans at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field and spring training facilities. However, the idea is predicated on a large increase in the availability of testing and reaching further agreement with the union on the format, scheduling and other issues surrounding the resumption of play.

The Korean Baseball Organization has announced its intention to begin its season in early May without fans, following South Korea’s largely successful efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Taiwan started its season April 12.

Barry Svrluga and Jesse Dougherty contributed to this report.