Gardena, like Bell Gardens and Commerce, is an L.A. County city that permits casino gambling. Gardena has two “cardrooms,” meaning casinos restricted to card game play to comply with local regulations. Combined, the casinos employ almost 1,180 people and make up the largest employment sector in the city. The larger of the two cardrooms alone is the second-highest employer in the city after the local hospital. It was built by one of the largest names in the adult entertainment industry and bears the name of the company’s most famous men’s magazine.
Gardena lies a few miles east of the Pacific Ocean, located a short few miles inland from the beach cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and El Segundo. Between Gardena and the beach cities are the communities of Lawndale, El Camino Village and Hawthorne. Gardena is south of the cities and neighborhoods of Inglewood, Lennox, West Athens and Westmont. Inland across South Vermont Avenue, the street that describes Gardena’s eastern border, are Willowbrook, West Rancho Dominguez, and Carson.
Another prominent industry in the city of Gardena is food preparation and packaging. Two large names in packaged food are headquartered in Gardena. One is a family-owned and operated company that produces Mexican foods, and the other a Japanese global conglomerate that makes what continues to be the most famous brand of packaged ramen noodles in the country. Together they hire just fewer than five hundred people. In the case of the family-owned company, a lawsuit was recently filed against it for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. One of the supervisors within the company, despite having a reputation for making crude, even explicit sexual comments and suggestive gestures toward subordinate employees, was permitted to continue to work at the position, until one employee chose to complain to management, not desiring to quit, but also not wanting to work in such a hostile, inappropriate environment. Despite being the victim of repeated harassment over an extended period of time, the employee was terminated soon after making the report. In such cases, family solidarity can take precedence over employee rights. While employees in Gardena have the right to a workplace free of sexual harassment, if a “problem” employee happens to be related in some way to the owners or upper management of a company, the employee’s behavior may be indulged.
The fourth largest single employer in Gardena is the regional location of a global carbon composite company based in Germany. In Gardena, the plant employs around four hundred sixty-five people, just below the number of workers employed by the Gardena location of one of the world’s top two package delivery companies – the one known for the brown cargo vehicles. The carbon composite company was once sued for terminating an employee who was out on FMLA leave due to a heart condition that made him unable to work. The problem was not life-threatening, and not permanent. The employee required surgery and post-op recovery time and would be ready to return. But rather than permit the leave and allow him to return to his position, he was terminated.
Our office is about eighteen miles from Gardena. If you have been terminated or feel you are going to be terminated while on a leave of absence from work due to a medical condition or disability, contact our office for a free review of your situation.