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The city of Maywood was once the home to four auto-manufacturing or assembly plants, three of which belonged to the three major U.S auto companies. The fourth, which employed nine hundred workers in the early 1940’s, was repurposed to assemble machinery and vehicles such as war plane parts and general purpose vehicles to the military. After the war the factory was returned to the process of making cars for the general population, but not for long. By the mid nineteen-fifties, the plant was closed down permanently. While in the middle of the twentieth century, all of the plants were in operation, eventually they all closed not long afterward, though at different times. The remaining once-plentiful industrial jobs in Maywood would follow suit, leaving the area beginning slowly at the end of the Second World War and picking up pace through the seventies until they were gone. With the retreat from Maywood and other surrounding areas of the high-paying industrial jobs, there are fewer good job opportunities in the city than there used to be. The number of jobs may not have changed much, but the nature of those jobs has, including the availability of full-time work that pays a livable wage. The result in Maywood is more than quarter of its residents living below the poverty line.
Maywood’s eastern and northeastern border is described and bound by the Los Angeles River and the parallel-running Long Beach Freeway (also known as “the seven-ten”), which separate Maywood from Commerce, a city that also Maywood’s northern border, sitting opposite Fruitland Avenue. Maywood’s eastern boundary is South Downey Road, across from which lie Vernon and Huntington Park. Maywood’s southern neighbor is the city of Bell, sitting on the other side of Randolph Street.
In its earlier, more industrial decades, Maywood had a culturally diverse population. Since the major economic changes took place after the mid twentieth century, this diversity has been replaced by a Latino population that is ranked by the Los Angeles Times as the second highest in terms of concentration. Only East Los Angeles has a higher percentage of Latino residents. In addition to that, Maywood is ranked fifth in the county in terms of actual population density, though with a population just a bit higher than twenty-seven thousand, Maywood is a rather small city. Because of the high concentration of Latinos in Maywood, the city is a popular destination for undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles. These recent arrivals take on jobs where they are sometimes considered a target for exploitation due to their citizenship status. An employer may prefer to hire undocumented employees knowing that, while technically and according to the law the workers have rights to be paid at least a minimum wage as well as to receive the same overtime pay, meal breaks, and rest breaks to which their documented coworkers are entitled, the employer can threaten the employees that the cost of complaining about or reporting wage and hour violations will be a report to the immigration authorities.
Every worker has rights. Our office is experienced in suing employers for violating those workers’ rights. If you feel that your rights as an employee in Maywood are being violated, contact us for a free consultation about your situation.