Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion directing the County’s Department of Public Health (DPH) to align closely with Gov. Newsom’s strike teams to enforce Health Officer Orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus:

“During my time as U.S. Secretary of Labor, I witnessed and addressed the exploitation of workers across the country, including in Los Angeles County. We all have a responsibility to follow County Health Officer Orders, and that includes businesses and restaurants. Sadly, we are seeing significant coronavirus outbreaks at businesses that have failed to comply with safety measures. The consequences of these noncompliant businesses are clear as our COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates surge. It is critical that government agencies ensure businesses comply with health orders to keep our communities safe and protect our economy.

“Los Angeles Apparel is an example of what happens when a business does not adhere to workplace safety protocols. There are now 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at LA Apparel, and even more tragically, four deaths. It is clear the company did not follow safety protocols. Instead, workers used cardboards as rudimentary barriers between their workstations, lacked the appropriate spacing to practice physical distancing, and were not given training and information to ensure their workplace safety. These types of egregious scenarios require a multifaceted response.

“To that end, Gov. Newsom has announced the creation of strike teams comprised of various state agencies to enforce health guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus. With today’s motion, DPH will partner closely with these strike teams to ensure a coordinated response to local noncompliant establishments. In addition, DPH and the Governor’s strike teams will not only address occupational safety concerns, but they will also ensure workers are receiving the wages they are entitled to get, including while they are on leave due to COVID-19.

“LA County will do everything possible to ensure worker protections are in place.”

Today’s Board motion directs DPH, along with pertinent County departments and relevant stakeholders, including labor unions, to work together to develop effective strategies to enforce County health orders. In addition, DPH must provide a 14-day report back.

###

Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov