Immigrants are vital to New Mexico’s economy as small business owners, tax-payers, consumers, and in the workforce. Click here for more information about economic contributions of immigrants in New Mexico. Click here for our labor rights manual.
El CENTRO’s members have fought, along with a coalition of allies, to raise the minimum wage successfully in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County and will continue to fight for a living wage in the future. At the state level, recent efforts to raise the minimum wage have been thwarted by Governor Martinez’ use of the veto. Our work currently focuses on fighting against wage theft with our “Mano a Mano para Acabar con Robo de Salario” campaign, strengthening enforcement mechanisms, and supporting earned sick days, predictable scheduling, and full-time opportunities for Albuquerque Workers.
One in four Mexican immigrant workers in New Mexico is a victim of wage theft, and only one in ten victims reports it. Wage theft cheats workers, steals from the public when companies fail to pay employment taxes, and puts ethical businesses at an unfair disadvantage. Learn more about wage theft in New Mexico.
What is wage theft?
Wage theft involves employers taking money that belongs to their employees and keeping it for themselves. Wage theft covers a variety of infractions that occur when workers do not receive their legally or contractually promised wages. Common forms of wage theft are not paying minimum wage, not paying for all the hours worked, not paying a worker their tips, non-payment of overtime, not giving workers their last paycheck after a worker leaves a job, and even not paying a worker at all. Wage theft may also involve the misclassification of employees as independent contractors or the misclassification of a non-exempt hourly employee as an exempt salaried employee.
El CENTRO provides bi-weekly wage theft orientations to workers, helps workers file wage claims, works with a team of pro-bono attorneys to give legal advice and when appropriate, file civil suits, works closely with the UNM Law Clinic to provide legal services, and engages workers in direct actions against unscrupulous employers.
Click here to read the toolkit for employers and employees put together by the National Employment Law Project and the National Immigration Law Center on how to prepare for I-9 inspections and if ICE arrives at your work.
El CENTRO has prepared the following toolkit in collaboration with other organizations across the state and that nation. This toolkit package includes know-your-rights information, family emergency plan form, power of attorney, and “rights cards.” Now more than ever, it is important to KNOW YOUR RIGHTS in order to continue protecting our families and communities.
Shout out to our Workers Committee!
Employers think that they can steal our wages because they think we won’t complain because we are scared and we need to feed our families. I learned that I have rights and I am fighting for the wages that I earned.
Mano a Mano, we can stop wage theft in Albuquerque. If you are a victim of wage theft, attend our weekly wage theft workshop (link to the calendar) and learn about your rights, your options to fight for your stolen wages such as doing a wage claim, filing a lawsuit, engaging in direct action, and learn how you can organize with other workers.
Irrespective of our immigration status, we all have rights!
Know your labor rights!