During a brief committee hearing late Tuesday, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego lashed out at Republican Asm. Heath Flora of Ripon (above) over Assembly Bill 685, a measure that would require employers to immediately notify employees and the state of COVID-19 infections.
A labor group testifying in support of the bill referred to a recent outbreak at Foster Farms in Livingston, Calif., as an example of what the bill aims to prevent. Flora defended the company as doing everything the state had asked, arguing the Legislature took less action following the infection last week of senator he had shared an apartment with.
Gonzalez immediately shot back that Foster Farms was not following the rules and that’s why eight people are dead. She said that this happens “when harvest is more important” than the health of Latino workers.
Flora said he understood the challenges for immigrant workers but too much of the responsibility is put on companies. Gonzalez pushed back, urging Flora to join the Latino Caucus in inclusion efforts on bills.