Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at Los Angeles Apparel:
“‘Made in America’ does not always translate into fair and safe workplace conditions. During my time as U.S. Secretary of Labor, I witnessed and addressed the exploitation of garment workers across the country, including in Los Angeles County. Garment workers – and all factory workers – are often from immigrant communities adding to their inability to speak out against unfair situations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more critical to ensure workers know their rights and that employers fulfill their moral duty and legal obligation to protect them.
“This has been made clear in light of the devastating situation at Los Angeles Apparel. Los Angeles Apparel adapted their business to produce cloth masks, responding to the safety benefit cloth face coverings provide and the California mandate to wear them. The business, however, has not adapted to COVID-19 to appropriately protect their workers, many of whom they recently hired to respond to the demand for cloth face coverings. There have been 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and, tragically, four deaths among the hardworking employees of Los Angeles Apparel. Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health required Los Angeles Apparel to close temporarily to implement mitigation efforts – but the harm caused to the families and colleagues of the individuals who passed away cannot be undone. I extend my condolences to the families and friends who are mourning the loss of their loved one who worked at Los Angeles Apparel.
“I reiterate my call on all employers to fulfill their responsibility to protect their workers – not just the consumers they serve.
“Los Angeles County will continue to hold employers accountable, working with Gov. Newsom’s recently announced strike team, involving the Labor Commissioner’s Office, Cal/OSHA, and other partners, to enforce requirements to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Please visit publichealth.lacounty.gov for more information about the necessary protocols businesses are required to follow. Employees can also call 888-700-9995 to report unsafe work conditions. Reports may be anonymous and there will be no questions about personal information, including immigration status.
Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org