ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is under fire by labor advocacy groups amid allegations that the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions failed to pursue wage and labor claims on behalf of aggrieved workers. The governor took office in 2011, since then advocacy groups complained there has been less cooperation between the government and organizations helping vulnerable workers fight wage theft and other exploitation.
At least one worker believes his trio of unpaid overtime complaints filed with the Department of Workforce Solutions went ignored, leaving him wondering how he would recoup his estimated $15,000 in back overtime. According to reports, state agents told this particular worker the department only pursues claims less than $10,000, a number not enumerated anywhere in state statutes or department policy.
In response to the allegations, a group of jilted workers filed a class action lawsuit against the state in federal District Court claiming the Department of Workforce Solutions failed to investigate claims and allowed employers to break state and federal wage laws. While the class action lawsuit is still in its early stages, the claim could have far reaching effects on how the state handles wage and labor oversight as well as create political difficulties for the governor.
In their defense, a department spokesperson told reporters that New Mexico does in fact investigate wage theft claims over $10,000, but refers those cases to federal District Courts. Furthermore, the spokesperson addressed other allegations that the department does not investigate claims older than one year, citing a state law on how long employers must retain employment records.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must provide workers with fair and accurate accounting of all the individual’s wages earned and hours worked and retain these records for three years. However, some state wage and labor laws do not always align with federal statutes, leading to confusion and prolonged litigation to resolve the issue and recover the much needed pay workers need to provide for themselves and family.
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.