Furloughed Birmingham woman learns her job has been eliminated

Hotel, hospitality workers' struggles continue

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - COVID-19 has affected every industry during this pandemic, and the hotel and hospitality sector is among the hardest hit.

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Alabama has lost nearly 37,000 hotel jobs since the beginning of this pandemic.

A Birmingham woman, who’d been furloughed since March, recently learned she’s now out of job, and is struggling to make ends meet.

She’s leaning her faith and her family to get through this difficult time, but is looking on the bright side, and said this termination will allow her to pursue other dreams.

“They had to begin job position eliminations and my position was one of the jobs they eliminated,” LaTanya McCaslin explained.

She had hopes of returning to her job this month as a hostess in the V.I.P. Longue at the Sheraton-Birmingham.

Instead, she received a letter saying her last day of employment would be on November 20th.

“It was one of the most rewarding positions I ever had. I met so many wonderful people and it was just …it was just so great to listen to their stories while they visited Birmingham,” McCaslin said.

Shortly after being furloughed in March, McCaslin started filing for unemployment, believing the furlough would only last a little while.

She admits the process has been frustrating, and the bills are starting to pile up.

“It really isn’t covering…you know… much. It’s just very, very stressful right now, and I’m really in a state of shock,” McCaslin explained.

But all hope is not lost.

McCaslin remains positive, and despite her own job loss, she wants to keep others in similar situations encouraged.

“Things will look up! We will come out of this and…just keep going forward don’t look back God will hold you up and we’re all going to survive this,” McCaslin said.

Her educational background is in teaching, so she’s now thinking about shifting her focus from the hospitality industry to counseling teens.

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