Kylie Cosmetics workers tell horror stories as dark details of Kylie Jenner company revealed

Former employees claim they were 'verbally threatened,' expected to complete quotas of 1,000 to 1,200 products each day and work 10 to 12 hours while standing, all for minimum pay


                            Kylie Cosmetics workers tell horror stories as dark details of Kylie Jenner company revealed
Kylie Jenner attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Workers at a factory making Kylie Jenner’s makeup have reportedly been forced to work in “horrific” conditions and were banned by factory supervisors from even looking at the billionaire mogul when she visited. This is not the first time Jenners have faced allegations with regard to the mistreatment of workers.

Last year in June, a report claimed that the company Global Brands Group (GBG) “refused to pay its garment suppliers for orders produced in February and March following a drop in sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic.” GBG listed Kendall + Kylie -- Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s clothing brand -- on its portfolio of affiliated brands, though this listing was later removed.

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Now, Kylie Cosmetics has come under fire too. The cosmetics company, founded by Jenner, began selling Kylie Lip Kits, a liquid lipstick and lip liner set on November 30, 2015. In just more than two years, in 2018, Forbes reported the company was valued at $800 million, and in March 2019, valued the company at $900 million. Spatz Laboratories located in Oxnard, California was the manufacturer of her cosmetic products. A source said, however, that Jenner is no longer with Spatz as her manufacturer.

A former Spatz Laboratories employee called Irene Lopez, who was hired by a temp agency to work for the factory on the assembly line in 2016, spoke with The Sun to report degrading working conditions. Lopez, 32, claimed that when Jenner visited Spatz, “... our supervisors would tell us, ‘You are not allowed to talk with them, you guys are supposed to keep on working, you guys are not allowed to take any pictures or ask any questions.’ We had to be quiet and continue working. They would come around and just watch us on the machines or filling up the makeup tubes.”

She claimed employees were expected to complete quotas of 1,000 to 1,200 products a day. She alleged: “The supervisors I had there had been very degrading towards everybody. Everything had to be perfectly made and if it wasn’t they would throw it away in your face like it was trash. If you didn’t go fast enough, you were going to get fired... I would go to the bathroom crying. It was too much for me.”



 

She also alleged her supervisor threw all of her completed cosmetics products in the garbage one time, forcing her to start over and receive help from co-workers to avoid termination. She further claimed that she was trained for “five minutes” when she started at the factory before being expected to produce the makeup items. “When you did ask questions, you were kind of degraded. It seemed like every question you asked was a stupid question. How are you going to learn if you don’t ask questions?” she told The Sun.

Lopez also said that she felt pressured to come in on weekends in fear of being fired. “Twice a month you had to come on the weekends as well,” she said. “I am a single mom of two children and on weekends it was hard to find child care. I tried to explain that I came through a temp agency and I don’t have child care for the weekends. They said, 'Well you need to find someone or you’ll lose your job.' It was hard because they expected you to do all these hours for a minimum wage job, which I didn’t think was fair.”

Lopez also alleged, “You couldn’t turn around without someone being right there behind you. That’s how packed we were in the factory. I have anxiety so I would have to go back and forth from the bathroom because it was overwhelming working with that many people. You can’t really move, you can’t really talk to people. There were always spills, messes. I did see a lot of ants in the corners and stuff.”

Martha Molasco, another employee of Spatz Laboratories, was hired by a separate temp agency to work for the factory from 2015 to 2017 and handled products during her time there. She alleged that she felt “verbally threatened” by supervisors, saying, “They would be like, ‘Oh if you don’t do this much by the end you’re going to be laid off or we’re going to call the temp agency to look for someone else. It was stressful and demeaning at the same time. I got paid minimum wage. They never offered a raise.”



 

“Doing all that hand laboring, I have issues where my hands crack and the pain shoots from my hand to my elbow. I still have that pain. I blame them!” said Molasco, who claimed she was forced to work 12-hour days while standing. “With the verbal, on top of the ten- to 12-hour shifts, a lot of people ended up quitting or leaving because it was just too much,” she said. “At the beginning it was slow, our regular hours were 4 pm to 12 am. When it started to pick up, it was 4 pm to 4 am. We were getting paid overtime, but it wasn’t worth it because they would push you to the limit. They didn’t make us feel appreciated.”

Molasco claimed, “During the summer it was miserable. No heat during the winter. You had to double layer, which was kind of annoying because we had to make a lot of hand movements, and jackets would get in the way. It was bad.” Allegations such as these, while disturbing, are not new. In 2016, Spatz was criticized for fostering an "uncomfortable" work environment, promoting "sweatshop"-like conditions, and offering low pay with no benefits. 

Jenner announced a relaunch of Kylie Cosmetics on July 14. But fans of the TV personality seemed angry at her on social media. The Sun reported comments on her Instagram account, with one person saying, “Wow what a piece of s**t! I’m so done of this woman.” Another person reportedly commented, "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? THEY SURE IN THE HELL NOT GOD SO WHY IS IT PEOPLE HAVE TO TREAT THEM DIFFERENTLY? NO GOOD PEOPLE.” Another person wrote, “Using your rebrand to distract us from Kylie Cosmetics workers saying they’re been treated like garbage??? K.”

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