Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 7:00 pm
By Phaedra Haywood
The New Mexican
A Santa Fe judge ordered the state Department of Workforce Solutions to temporarily stop rejecting wage-theft claims under what a group of workers claims are misguided policies.
Attorneys who filed a class-action lawsuit last month claim the state agency has allowed businesses to get away with cheating employees out of receiving a required minimum wage and overtime pay. The complaint accuses the department of adopting policies that allow it to dismiss and deny claims for reasons that are not supported by law.
For example, the lawsuit says, the department has refused to investigate complaints of wage theft involving more than $10,000 even though no law precludes this and has ignored claims that date back more than one year.
The judge’s restraining order was jointly requested by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and workers’ rights groups including Centro de Igualdad Y Derechos, NM Comunidades En Accion Y De Fé, Organizers in the Land of Enchantment and Somos Un Pueblo Unido.