Carson is a land-locked city in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. It is close to the coast, about six miles away. To get to the ocean driving west, one passes through Torrance and Redondo Beach. Driving south one would go through Long Beach and San Pedro. To the southwest is the Palos Verdes Peninsula, where the wealthy neighborhoods of Rolling Hills and Rancho Palos Verdes are located. Carson is located south of Compton and west of Lakewood and Signal Hill. Carson’s major shopping location is a large, part-open and part-enclosed shopping center that hosts dozens of shops, mostly chain stores and eateries. Among the largest employers in Carson is a nationally-recognized candy manufacturer. It wasn’t always that way. Previously, the U.S. headquarters for one of Japan’s largest auto manufacturers was in Carson before it was relocated to a different state. When it was there, it was by a huge margin Carson’s largest employer in terms of number of employees. The departure of the car company meant that the highest payroll numbers for Carson employers has topped out at fewer than five hundred workers. After the company left, the land on which it operated was developed into a large business park occupied by a large number of much smaller companies, which currently collectively hire more people than the car company did at its peak. This could be considered an overall win for the area and its workers, but the issue is more complicated than that. For example, a number of the stable, full-time jobs provided by the car company were often replaced by part-time, contingency jobs. Workers who had office support jobs, administrative jobs, plant management jobs, maintenance jobs, and management positions and who did not relocate out of state with the company may have had to locate work in the less-reliable food service, retail, and banking sectors. Many of the jobs that replaced the ones that were taken away may not be equivalent in terms of the compensation and other worker protections. Large, established global companies may be more aware of the rights of workers when it comes to pay and protections from termination of employees who wish to exercise their rights to a leave of absence due to pregnancy, disability or to care for a seriously ill or disabled family member. A newer, somewhat smaller company, for instance, may not be fully aware of or interested in the terms of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), or they may feel that abiding by these laws may be an excessive financial burden or hinder growth of the company. These laws and others entitle an employee to protection from being terminated, or from being made to take a position that is not equivalent to the one he or she left if he or she needs to take a leave of absence to provide care for a spouse, child, or parent who has become disabled due to an injury or serious illness. The employee may wind up being unlawfully terminated or told that the only position available when he or she returns is a part-time job at a reduced pay rate. Carson employees have rights.
Our office is about twenty-five miles from Carson, best reached by heading north on the San Diego Freeway, exiting on Santa Monica Boulevard and driving east to the heart of Beverly Hills. Contact us if you feel your rights as an employee in Carson are being violated.