Bell Gardens, California

Bell Gardens has roughly the shape of a triangle that is truncated at the bottom point. The city is situated between the western bank of the Rio Hondo Channel, which describes its eastern border, and the Long Beach Freeway, generally known to locals as “The seven-ten,” on the western side. The approximate northern and southern borders of Bell Gardens are described by railroads. Beyond the northern border of Bell Gardens are the cities of Commerce and Montebello. To the west of Bell Gardens are Bell, Cudahy, and South Gate. The city’s southern neighbors are Downey and Lynwood. And to the east across the Rio Hondo are Pico Rivera and Santa Fe Springs. Bell Gardens was formed from the parcelization over time of a massive land-grant ranch owned by a wealthy Spanish family over two centuries ago. Part of the legacy of this family and the original land grant is the continuing existence of Los Angeles County’s oldest house, formerly known as the Casa de Rancho San Antonio and now called the Henry Gage Mansion, which was built soon before the turn of the nineteenth century and is now protected as a state historical site. The house was renamed for a wealthy sheep dealer, corporate lawyer, and one-term governor of California who moved in when he married into the family who owned the house and surrounding land. Now the mansion is located in a mobile home park.

Along with its northern neighbor Commerce, Bell Gardens is one of a few cities in the county with legal casinos where patrons can gamble within certain restrictions. The city is home to a nationally-known casino built in the mid 1980’s that has been featured in movies and on television. In late 2013, work began on a large luxury hotel complex associated with the casino. Together, these developments provide hundreds of jobs to the community. The intent is to bring visitors and more developers to the area and, through a multiplier effect, increase the number of jobs available to Bell Gardens residents.

Our office is just around twenty-one miles from Bell Gardens. Employees in Bell Gardens have the right to be fairly compensated for their labor. Some businesses, like the casino in Bell Gardens, operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This may result in some of the hourly paid staff, such as housekeeping, security officers, kitchen staff, and restaurant servers, being required to work long hours, up to twelve or even more hours in a shift. Yet some employers may not provide or allow for a second meal period or third paid rest break to employees who work past the tenth hour. In some cases, when employees work past twelve hours, when they are to be paid twice the hourly rate, the employer may “adjust” the time record and move those hours to a workday when the employee worked fewer hours, so the employee will be not be paid at the double-time rate for those hours worked. Employees who complain about such manipulation of the work schedule are sometimes terminated. If you feel you are not being paid fully according to your employee rights, or if you have been terminated for disputing a violation of your rights, contact our office for a free consultation.