We strive to improve pay and working conditions for low-wage earners.
New Mexico’s low-income workers face numerous challenges. They often are paid devastatingly low wages, toil in unsafe or unhealthy environments, and are required to work long hours without the benefit of regular schedules or paid time off for vacation or illness. These problems have many causes. State and federal laws exclude certain categories of low-wage jobs from legal protections. Even where the law ostensibly protects workers, public enforcement of these laws is often lacking.
We work with organizers, direct service providers, and low-wage employees to address the challenges facing New Mexico’s working poor. The Center has focused especially on the 12,000 agricultural laborers who work in our fields and dairies since they are some of the poorest and most mistreated employees in the state. In addition to pursuing a successful campaign to win workers’ compensation coverage for farmworkers, we also are addressing other important labor issues like wage theft, minimum wage, workplace safety, fair scheduling, and paid sick days. We continue to educate low-wage employees about their labor rights and how to assert them.
In the District Court and in the Court of Appeals, we won legal victories extending workers’ compensation to New Mexico’s farmworkers.
The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has failed to meet its legal obligation to provide adequate access to unemployment services.
Wage theft—the unlawful failure to pay wages rightfully owed to a worker—is rampant among New Mexico’s low-wage workers.
Please visit our project pages for more resources related to specific programs.
- Rios Olivas Declaration Olivas v. Bussy settlement (March 2018)
- Bravo Declaration Olivas v. Bussy settlement (March 2018)
- Castillo Declaration Olivas v. Bussy settlement (March 2018)
- Armendariz Declaration Olivas v. Bussy settlement (March 2018)
- Complaint Olivas v Bussy (January 2017)
- Press Release: Court Rejects Challenge to Earned Sick Leave Law (August 2017)
- Memorandum Opinion and Order on Motion to Dismiss Claims to Overturn the Albuquerque Minimum Wage Ordinance (August 2017)
- Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Claims that Seek to Keep the HWO Off the 2017 Ballot (August 2017)
- Motion to Intervene: Defending Albuquerque Minimum Wage Ordinance (May 2017)
- Motion to Intervene: Defending Healthy Workforce Ordinance (May 2017)
- Intervenor-Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Claims To Overturn The Albuquerque Minimum Wage Ordinance (Counts II, IV, And V) - May 2017
- Intervenor-Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss claims that seek to keep the Healthy Workforce Ordinance off the 2017 ballot (Counts I, III, IV, and VI) - May 2017
- Olivas v. Bussey Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (April 2017)
- Alerta de Derechos Humanos: Los Trabajadores Invisibles y Oprimidos de Nuevo Mexico (July 2013)
- Human Rights Alert: New Mexico’s Invisible And Downtrodden Workers (July 2013)