TCLG Helps New Mexico Workers Claim $16,800 in Back Wages

January 27, 2020

Torres Consulting & Law Group’s wage compliance division helped recover more than $16,800 in back wages and benefits owed to skilled workers in New Mexico.

In response to complaints filed by TCLG, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) investigated contractors on four separate public works projects and found that they were not paying the skilled workers on these projects the wages and benefits they deserved.

Bixby Electric Inc. (Bixby), an Albuquerque-based contractor, agreed to pay $10,190.09 in back wages and benefits after it was determined that Bixby misclassified workers on the Albuquerque Retrofits and Repairs project. During the investigation, the NMDWS found that Bixby reported employees as groundmen and equipment operators earning the designated wages and benefits. However, the daily employee timecard documents reflected that employees were not paid prevailing wages for all hours earned on the public works project.

NMDWS found that Metro Mechanical (Metro), a Las Cruces-based contractor, underpaid workers on the Jacob Hands Wastewater Treatment Facility project in Las Cruces and the Sierra Vista Replacement Hospital project in Truth or Consequences. Metro agreed to pay $4,174.09 in back wages and benefits. The investigation revealed that the company reported employees as plumbers, sheet metal workers and laborers earning the designated wages and benefits. Yet, the daily employee timecard documents reflected that employees were not paid overtime wages for overtime hours that were earned.

KDC Mechanical, an Albuquerque-based contractor, misclassified workers on the CNM Montoya Campus J-Building Additions and Renovations project in Albuquerque and agreed to pay $2,486.98 in back wages and benefits. NMDWS determined that while KDC reported employees as plumber apprentices earning a percentage of the plumber wages and benefits, there were an insufficient number of journeymen onsite to ensure the required ratio of one journeyman to one apprentice.  

“Workers deserve to be paid for the skilled work they perform,” said Israel Torres, TCLG’s managing partner. “Our compliance team is committed to righting these wrongs and making a difference in the lives of working families.”

The New Mexico Public Works Minimum Wage Act requires contractors on public works projects to pay tradesmen, laborers and mechanics a prevailing wage set by the NMDWS. Contractors sometimes try to circumvent the law by not reporting all hours its employees work on public works projects in order to reduce labor costs.  

TCLG aggressively monitors prevailing wage projects on municipal, state and federal construction contracts for compliance. The firm provides a variety of consulting services, including regulatory compliance and public and government relations, to clients across the United States. A specialty is Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage compliance for local unions, contractor associations and building trades organizations.