RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Without any students on campus, some University of California Riverside employees have been out of work.
UC Riverside officials confirmed there have been 94 temporary layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing "a lack of work" for the employees.
Jesus Hernandez is one of those staff members, having worked in dining services at the college for close to 20 years. Hernandez got a notice saying he’s been temporarily laid off “due to a lack of work.”
His letter says he can return September 8, but with several colleges deciding to keep classes online for the upcoming fall semester, Hernandez does not feel like this is a hard and fast promise.
“I just feel uncomfortable. I just feel very uncertain what the future holds for me,” said Hernandez.
"The reason for the layoffs is that summer activities for housing and dining were canceled, and so there were no activities to support," UC Riverside officials said in a written statement. "UCR hopes to bring back some or all of these positions for the fall, but the university is waiting to see what student housing demand will be.”
Hernandez has joined the millions who have applied for umployment amid the current pandemic. He is hoping to make ends meet with support of his family.
“It’s just myself and my brother for the most part," said Hernandez. "After like March 17, my brother got laid off. And then barely two weeks ago, got called to go back to work, so I was actually helping him and he was relying on me while I was working."
"Now I think it’s going to be the opposite,” he added.
Hernandez's next concern is health insurance. He’s covered for the next few months, but he could lose his plan if he's unable to return to work in the fall.