South Gate, California

South Gate, like many other Los Angeles communities, once was home to an automotive assembly plant, this one called South Gate Assembly. Four years after it was built, in 1940, though it was still owned by the auto builder, it switched from building cars to building engines for bombers and other military planes for the Second World War and the Korean War. Forty-two years later, the plant suffered the same fate as Van Nuys Assembly and other factories. But whereas Van Nuys Assembly and other former manufacturers were transformed into retail, dining and entertainment zones, South Gate turned their closed plant into a public high school.

South Gate is situated in the midst of its fellow Gateway Cities and takes part in the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. South Gate’s northern neighbors are Cudahy, Walnut Park, Bell and Huntington Park. At South Gate’s northeastern tip is Bell Gardens. To the south is Lynwood, to the southwest is Willowbrook, and to the southeast is Paramount. South Gate’s western border is Alameda Street, across from which are the communities of Watts and Florence-Graham (also known as Florence-Firestone). And Downey shares South Gate’s eastern border.

South Gate has a business district named after the Tweedy family, one of the key families in the birth and development of the city. The Tweedy Mile, as the district near downtown South Gate is named, is a public-private partnership designed to encourage locally-owned businesses to be formed in the city. The area has somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred businesses, mostly locally- or family-owned. To encourage residents to do their shopping at the Tweedy Mile, the board of directors schedules events such as street fairs, local art shows, family events, and group-organized physical improvements such as painting projects and improvement of features such as benches and planters. By contrast, there is another business zone called El Paseo, which is at the corner of Garfield Avenue and Firestone Boulevard, near the conjunction between the Rio Hondo and Los Angeles River. This zone is devoted to familiar nationally-known shops and contains a large indoor mall, along with a number of chain retail locations, restaurants, and movie houses. Firestone Boulevard itself is a major commercial corridor for South Gate, stretching the full latitudinal length of the city.

South Gate is home to a company that is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit for wage and hour violations, including for the company’s failure to provide its delivery drivers/installers with the required meal periods during the workday. Instead, the company insists that the drivers simply find time to bring a lunch or grab a bite somewhere on the route and eat at stop lights. This alone is a violation. On top of this, the company would then deduct thirty minutes from the hours worked each day prior to calculating the hourly wage. In this way, the company would both provide itself with free labor for thirty minutes per employee per day, and they would make it appear as if it was appearing to provide the meal periods to its employees. Furthermore, this would cut into the amount of pay the employees would receive at the overtime rate by as much as thirty minutes. If your employer is similarly violating your rights to compensation for your work under the law, contact our office for a free consultation.