Burger King workers in Santa Monica, California went on strike this week to protest the COVID-19 death of a colleague.
Angela Martinez Gómez worked for a week while displaying COVID-19 symptoms before walking out on a shift, one of her colleagues claimed in a complaint to OSHA and local public health agencies.
The complaint alleges that the Burger King franchise did not provide workers adequate protective gear, did not undergo frequent cleanings, and that managers allowed Gómez to continue working. At least two of Gómez’s employees have subsequently come down with COVID-19 symptoms. The complaint also alleges that a manager misled workers about Gómez’s cause of death, blaming it on the hormones that Gómez, a transgender woman, was taking.
“I don’t know of anyone who has been notified as a close contact or quarantined” Gómez's colleague wrote in the complaint. “I told (the manager) I was going to get tested for COVID-19, and she said she was going to get tested too, but she also said she didn’t think Angela died of COVID-19, she said Angela died of injecting hormones. That doesn’t make sense to me.” Burger King told KTLA that it would close the restaurant for cleaning, but it did not comment on the specifics of the complaint.