Target kept a store open after an employee died during his shift

Target exterior

Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

A Target in New York City.

  • A California Target employee died on the job on Saturday, representatives for the retailer and local authorities confirmed.
  • The store did not close following his death. Employees were given the option to leave work for the day, Target said.
  • "In partnership with law enforcement, we worked quickly with authorities to secure the area and create a more secluded space for our team member," a spokesperson for Target said in a statement. "Members of the Whittier Police Department remained with our team until the medical examiner arrived at the store."
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A Target employee in a store in Whittier, California, died on the job on Saturday, representatives for the retailer and local authorities confirmed. The store did not close following the man's death.

Whittier police confirmed to Business Insider that they received a call from the Los Angeles County Fire Department at approximately 1:18 p.m. local time, asking them to respond to a "man down" situation.
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Frank Polizzi, a representative from the California Occupational Safety and Heath Administration (Cal/OSHA), confirmed that they were notified of the situation at 2:11 p.m.

"We were notified on November 16 that an employee at Target at a retail store collapsed and passed away from natural causes due to medical conditions," Polizzi said in a statement.

Polizzi added that OSHA is not currently investigating the matter and that the office did not get any complaints as to the handling of the body in the store.
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Cal/OSHA does not require a business to close after a fatality occurs in the workplace.

"In partnership with law enforcement, we worked quickly with authorities to secure the area and create a more secluded space for our team member," a Target spokesperson said in a statement. "Members of the Whittier Police Department remained with our team until the medical examiner arrived at the store."Other store workers were given the chance to go home early if they wished, Target confirmed.
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In April, a Target in Wisconsin stayed open after a man died in the store, ABC Action News reported.

In a statement to ABC Action News at the time, a Target spokesperson said that the company cordoned off part of the store, though some customers told ABC that they believed the store should have closed for the day.

Read Target's full statement below:

Sadly, a Target team member passed away on Saturday while working in our store in Whittier, California. Another team member noticed him collapse, immediately contacted emergency services and with their guidance, provided CPR until they arrived onsite. In partnership with law enforcement, we worked quickly with authorities to secure the area and create a more secluded space for our team member. Members of the Whittier Police Department remained with our team until the medical examiner arrived at the store. Our thoughts go out to Thomas' family, friends and colleagues. Our store leaders allowed team members to go to home early if they wished and we've been providing counseling services to our team this week. We'll continue to work with authorities on anything they need and appreciate their support over the past few days.
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