Workers Sue New Mexico for 6 Years Back Pay

     ALBUQUERQUE (CN) — It took six years for New Mexico to adjust wages under its Public Works Minimum Wage Act, so the state owes tens of thousands of workers back pay for those years, 52 workers say in a federal class action.
     When the Legislature amended the Public Works Minimum Wage Act in 2009, the Labor Relations Division of the Department of Workforce Solutions was tasked with adjusting the minimum and prevailing wages and benefits for mechanics and laborers in all public works projects with budgets of $60,000 or more.
     But the state didn’t do this until 2015, lead plaintiff Randy Cummings et al. say in the Aug. 23 lawsuit, so it owes more than 10,000 workers pay adjustments and benefits. They sued the Department of Workforce Solutions and its Labor Relations Division for violations of due process.
     They seek class certification, liquidated damages, back pay and benefits, and punitive damages, because they call the state actions “intentional, willful, wanton and in reckless disregard” of their rights.
     They are represented by James Montalbano, with Youtz & Valdez.

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