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Failure to Enforce State Wage Theft Laws is Subject of Lawsuit Against New Mexico

Commentary:  SANTA FE - Tomorrow, a coalition of organizations dedicated to furthering workers' rights in New Mexico will announce the filing of a new lawsuit against the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) seeking relief on a number of claims relating to failures by the department to properly investigate wage theft issues.

These include the DWS's illegally imposed $10,000 cap on investigating wage theft claims; their illegal practice of not investigating or taking any enforcement action on claims for wages that go back more than one year; and that the DWS does not hold employers liable for any statutory damages during the administrative enforcement phase of a case. Additional claims are also included in the lawsuit.

The coalition bringing the lawsuit against the DWS includes: the N.M. Center on Law and Poverty, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Comunidades en Accion y de Fé (CAFÉ), Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ), and Somos un Pueblo Unido, along with five individual plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs, and representatives from each organization, will be available to speak to press.

What: Press conference regarding the filing of a new lawsuit against the DWS for failure to enforce state wage theft laws

Who: Elizabeth Wagoner (attorney from the N.M. Center on Law and Poverty); Marcela Díaz (Executive Director of Somos un Pueblo Unido); State Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-14); Jose "Pancho" Olivas, a Plaintiff and Sabína Armendáriz, a Plaintiff.

When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: East Concourse of the State Capitol Building, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501