East Los Angeles, California

East Los Angeles, most often called “East L.A.” by the locals is not a city in and of itself, though many locals have been campaigning since 2010 to have the area incorporated. For now it is a territory that is part of Los Angeles and shares institutions with Los Angeles and some of the neighboring cities such as Montebello and Monterey Park, which are situated to the east of East Los Angeles. To the north is a district that used to be part of East L.A. called Montecito Heights. To the west are downtown Los Angeles and the city of Vernon; to the south are Maywood, Bell, Bell Gardens, and Pico Rivera. East L.A. is split horizontally by East Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard and the Pomona Freeway, a.k.a. “the sixty,” and vertically by the Long Beach Freeway, a.k.a. “the seven-ten.”

While East L.A. is not a city, at least not yet, it does possess a cultural focus that separates it from greater Los Angeles. For example, the northern section of East Los Angeles contains a hilly neighborhood in the Monterey Hills known as City Terrace, which has since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s become a center for artistic expression, most famously in the form of bright, colorful, dramatic outdoor urban murals created by art collectives. In the heart of East L.A. is the Latino Walk of Fame on Whittier Boulevard, patterned after the world-famous commemorative sidewalk in Hollywood, but with red suns inset in a gold background honoring cultural heroes such as Cesar Chavez and Fernando Valenzuela. The area is justifiably associated with Latino and Hispanic cultures, as Hispanics and Latinos make up around ninety-seven percent of the population.

There is a 127-bed hospital in East L.A. that has recently been sued, along with other facilities affiliated with that hospital, for a number of wage and hour violations including failure to pay its staff members all owed wages and provide required uninterrupted meal and rest periods according to the California Labor Code. Employers often will argue that it is necessary to keep their employees “on call” during meal periods, requiring them to carry a phone or pager and order them to return to work despite being clocked out, rather than sufficiently staff the facility to ensure that the necessary work can be done by employees who are on the clock. Furthermore, many employees who work a shift of between ten and fourteen hours are often not authorized or permitted to take a third paid rest period of at least ten minutes. Additionally, before calculating wages paid to the employee, an employer such as the hospital in East Los Angeles may “round” the employee’s clock-in and clock-out times, adjusting them in such a way that the employee is not paid for all minutes worked. Over time, a few minutes of daily unpaid work can lead to significant underpayment by the employer, especially when the rounding cuts into what should be an employee’s overtime. These practices are fairly common, and our office specializes in cases against employers who use methods such as these to cheat their staff. If you wish to find out if you are not being fairly compensated, contact our office for a free consultation.