New Mexico labor agency wins judgment for unpaid workers | KOB 4
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New Mexico labor agency wins judgment for unpaid workers

The Associated Press, Patrick Hayes
July 17, 2019 05:13 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Workers who were left without their final paychecks when the Albuquerque-based consulting company they worked for went bust are one step closer to getting their money.

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The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has won a summary judgment of more than $52,000 on behalf of seven workers of now defunct CPST Consulting, LLC.

State labor officials say the company ceased operations in 2015 without distributing final paychecks for employees.

The judgment includes $16,920 in unpaid wages plus 200% in liquidated damages and interest mandated by state law when workers are left unpaid.

A state district court found that company owner Richard Montoya was individually liable for the wage debts and that going out of business doesn't shield business owners from having to pay workers for time on the job.

Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley said there are about 1,200 cases involving wage theft in New Mexico.

"Let's be frank, when you don't pay someone what they are owed by law, that is stealing," McCamley said. "It is theft and it is just as bad as you breaking into someone's house and stealing their savings from their piggy bank."

McCamley said under Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state will take employers to court if they don't pay their employees.

"These folks are living month-to-month anyways, so when you steal from someone, from their paycheck, almost all the time, these are the same folks --- the folks that need every single dime they're getting just to make it every week, and that's what makes this crime more egregious," McCamley said.

Credits

The Associated Press, Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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