El Monte, California
During the Civil War, El Monte was a western headquarters for the Confederate cause. It was a lush region east of Los Angeles watered by the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo River, and was a commonly-used resting point for people migrating along a nationally-known migration trail. Resting led to settlements, and now El Monte is a large city, incorporated in 1912, with a population of more than one hundred fifteen thousand residents. It ranks eleventh, just behind East Los Angeles, in population, but El Monte is more ethnically and racially diverse.
El Monte is split into northern and southern portions by the San Bernardino Freeway, which is also known as Interstate 10. The city’s eastern border runs parallel and just to the west of the 605 Freeway, or San Gabriel River Freeway, so named because it runs parallel to the east of the river of the same name. Across from the San Gabriel River are El Monte’s eastern neighbors, Baldwin Park, West Covina, Bassett and Avocado Heights. To the south, El Monte’s neighboring communities are the cities of South El Monte, Pico Rivera, Montebello, and Whittier. El Monte’s western neighbors are Rosemead, San Gabriel, South San Gabriel, Monterey Park, and Alhambra. And to the north of El Monte are North El Monte, Temple City, Mayflower Village, and way to the north, Arcadia and East Pasadena.
El Monte’s top three employers are, individually and collectively, the public school districts that operate in the city. The fifth largest employer is the city itself. Between the school districts and the city in the ranking is a car dealership that is claimed to be the largest individual dealership in the world. The dealership employs about four hundred seventy-five people, and it claims that someone buys a car from that company every eight minutes. The next largest employer after the city of El Monte was once a factory headquartered in Wisconsin that made machined metal parts for trucks and heavy equipment and employed somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred to four hundred workers. After operating for around sixty years, the plant closed in 2009, and there is a dispute about whether the cause was related to the slowdown of the economy resulting in fewer customers for the company, or if it was related to the state’s regulatory and tax atmosphere. Regardless of the cause, the result was a layoff of all of the workers. The company issued the sixty-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) to the employers notifying them that they would be laid off. As a result, the largest private employer is now a dairy that was initially established in Los Angeles by an Irish immigrant in 1918, was relocated to El Monte in 1928, but then sold in 1942. The immigrant’s son picked up and carried on the family business in 1948 by opening the dairy in 1948, and now it employs around three hundred workers. The next largest private employer is a plastics and composites manufacturer that employs around two hundred and fifty. All of these El Monte workers have rights. Often workers in factories and assembly lines are paid by the piece, not by the hour. This may result in them being paid less than the minimum wage or being denied the required rest breaks. If you feel your employee rights are being violated, contact our office for a free consultation.