Working teens during COVID-19

Erika Gardner, Staff Writer

Since COVID Started in mid-March of 2020, many teens have been struggling to find stable and safe jobs. 

I was working at a little pizza place here in Long Beach in March, at the start of COVID. When new regulations were put in place and employers needed to make their businesses safe for their staff and customers, the people who owned the pizza place did not give us any personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks or gloves. Employees had to provide our own. 

They also did not follow the COVID guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Even when indoor dining was banned they allowed customers, who were regulars in the restaurant to watch sports and drink beer. 

I spoke up about their lack of responsibility for keeping their employees and themselves safe, but after a while nothing changed. I ended up moving and I quit. 

I applied for jobs everywhere I could, but would not hear back from anyone. After being unemployed for about three months, I applied at Raising Cane’s. After a couple of interviews I got a call and they said I got the job. 

This job is significantly better in every way. 

I’ve spoken to a couple of my friends who have been working since COVID and one of my friends that works at Ralphs said that it’s been crazy, and quite a few people have gotten COVID. She said as well that she’s been getting called in constantly because of the their lack of staff due to COVID.