Wilmington shares the Port of Los Angeles with San Pedro, its neighbor to the west and south. The Port and city of Long Beach lie along the Wilmington’s eastern border. The northern border is approximately described by Lomita Boulevard, on the other side of which lies the city of Carson. Like San Pedro, in the beginning of the twentieth century Wilmington became part of Los Angeles as part of that city’s grab for possession of a major port. Compared to the rest of the city, Wilmington is the least dense population-wise, and has a relatively high percentage of immigrants and younger people of Latino heritage compared to the rest of the region. While there are many residents, almost fifty-four thousand, Wilmington is more notably a home to industries, many of which are related to or associated with the shipping and logistics industry that makes this area the busiest port region in the country. Wilmington is part of the channel through which a huge portion of the stuff Americans buy enters the country, such as food, clothing, electronics, automobiles, toys, furniture, and mechanical parts. All this stuff needs to be quickly unloaded from the cargo ships onto the docks along the Port of Los Angeles and Terminal Island, then organized, warehoused, and moved from the point of entry inland to the hands of the waiting consumers and end-users.
In addition to the industries surrounding and related to shipping, warehousing and general logistics, Wilmington is also a major producer of oil. A few years into the Great Depression, a massive oil field was discovered in the area. The field’s footprint covers territory in Wilmington and the surrounding areas. Only two other oil fields in the United States have produced more crude oil than the Wilmington Oil Field. While a large majority of the reserves in the field have already been extracted since the discovery, it continues to produce enough oil to continue drilling and pumping. Proximity to the source of crude led also to the construction of a number of large refineries. Operators of one major refinery paints its three-million gallon gas storage tank orange each year for Halloween and gives it the features of the thematic decorated pumpkins one sees during that holiday.
Given the nature of the industrial focus of Wilmington, employees in the area can be susceptible to work-related injuries or illness. For example, accidents can occur while workers are operating heavy equipment, potentially resulting in severe injuries. Long-term repeated motions on the job can result in the development of debilitating back, neck, or joint pain. Also, such employees can succumb to illness due to exposure to a variety of toxic chemicals used in the course of performing one’s job duties. The resulting injuries or illnesses may require a leave of absence for treatment and recovery, possibly followed by some accommodations at the workplace when the employee returns to work. Employers in Wilmington may consider it a burden to keep employees who become disabled, even temporarily, and may find a pretext to terminate the employee. Each worker’s situation is unique. If you feel your employer has not been respecting your rights as an employee, contact our office for a free consultation.