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In early June, Lizzet Aguilar went on afour-day strike. She demanded that the McDonald’s location in Boyle Heights where she worked provide employees with adequate protective equipment and enforce social distancing to fight the coronavirus.

Aguilar, 35, said that a supervisor treated her more harshly after the strike in retaliation for her activism, telling her to work faster and instructing other employees not to help her.

“She was tougher with me, stricter, and started to yell more,” Aguilar said.

Coronavirus cases have surged in California over the last two months, fueled by the reopening of the economy. Though public health officials say making workplaces safer is essential to slowing the virus’ spread, fear of retaliation is preventing many employees from voicing safety concerns, workers and labor organizers say.

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