North Carolina university workers have filed a lawsuit against the UNC System that claims they're facing unsafe working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.
The union representing university employees released a statement Monday saying that workers are not being given enough protective equipment to ensure their safety.
The statement says that some workers, including housekeepers, are only given one or two masks per week, and don't have access to face shields and gowns.
And the union claims that as more employees test positive for COVID-19, inadequate safety measures “fall hardest on Black and Brown workers' shoulders,” disproportionately impacting their health.
Herb Richmond is the director of UNC-Chapel Hill's Housekeeping Services Department. He told The News & Observer that he's talking with campus officials about how to improve conditions for employees.
In-person classes began Monday at several UNC System schools including Chapel Hill, where more than 40 positive COVID cases have been reported in the last three weeks.
UNC System leaders say adjustments have been made to operations and guidelines to ensure that returning students, faculty, and staff are protected from the spread of COVID-19.