Workers’ Justice

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.

New-Mexico-2015El 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 fruitful.

Thanks to the organizational efforts by low-wage workers, our statewide coalition, and the solidarity of certain legislators, the New Mexico legislature passed SB437, a compromise bill, raising the state minimum wage to $12.00 in phases by 2023.

The first minimum wage increase will be of $9.00 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020 and raise to $10.50 by Jan. 1, 2021. The following year on Jan. 1, 2022  minimum wage workers will see an increase of a dollar more until reaching $12 by 2023. 

Tipped workers will also be seeing a raise in their wages. By Jan.1, 2020 tipped workers will see an increase of $0.22 and their wages and raising every year thereafter until reaching $3.00 by 2023. Even though $12 an hout is still a poverty wage its a step in the right direction. We will continue to organize until all low-wage workers in New Mexico earn a living wage and our families have the opportunity to thrive.

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.

Click here to read an article written by El CENTRO on Wage Theft in New Mexico published by the Huffington Post


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.

How does EL CENTRO fight wage theft? Click here to learn about our Mano a Mano program

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. 

 ATTENTION employers and workers: How to prepare for I-9 inspections with ICE if ICE comes to your job.

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.

Know Your Rights To Protect Your Family

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!



emanuelEmployers 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.

– Emanuel

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.

Learn more about Wage Theft in New Mexico Wage Theft

Know your labor rights!

know your rightsIrrespective of our immigration status, we all have rights!

Know your labor rights!