THPRD lays off over 750 employees, including lifeguards, afterschool workers

COVID-19. Image provided to KPTV.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District has laid off more than 750 part-time and seasonal employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district at first placed the 762 workers in an unscheduled status, but based on the information that the closure would extend beyond the initial two-week period and to reduce barriers in accessing expanded unemployment insurance, it decided to formally separate itself from the employees.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision and not one we wanted to make,” Doug Menke, general manager, said. “This staff represents our lifeguards, our class instructors, our afterschool workers, and so much more. We value them greatly however, given the reality we now face, this is our only course of action.”

Many of the workers serve in positions that are funded be revenues from program fees and classes, according to THPRD. These funds are not currently being collected and refunds have been issued for the canceled activities, meaning there is no funding to cover staff wages.

The district says human resources will work with hiring managers to expedite the district’s typical pre-employment process for these separated employees, as appropriate, under the temporary policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our goal will be to make it as easy as possible for these employees to return to service when we are able to hire staff again,” the district said.

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