Santa Fe worker awarded lost wages from Horseman's Haven Café; National Labor Relations Board orders monetary restitution and posting of notice
September 29, 2015
SANTA FE, NM--On Thursday, a cook at Horseman's Haven Café, a local restaurant, was awarded his lost wages and returned to his regular schedule at work after filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for retaliation he experienced by his employer.
The NLRB ordered Horsemen's Haven to pay Jose Valtierrez Villa, a member of the United Worker Center of New Mexico-a project of Somos Un Pueblo Unido-all the hours the restaurant cut from his schedule after he filed his complaint. Horsemen's Haven must also post a copy of the agreement in a prominent location at its facility located at 4354 Cerrillos Rd., according to the agreement.
"All workers deserve to earn a living wage," said Jose Valtierrez Villa. "No one should be punished for standing up for their rights as workers."
Earlier this year, Valtierrez Villa filed a wage complaint against the restaurant at the City of Santa Fe for violations of the City's Living Wage but immediately after filing the complaint his employer significantly reduced his hours. In his complaint with the City, Mr. Valtierrez Villa states he was only being paid about $7.10 an hour. The City's minimum wage has been $10.84 since March 2015.
Mr. Valtierrez Villa is still waiting for a response from the City of Santa Fe regarding his wage complaint. However, after he filed his complaint with the City, Horsemen's Haven did increase all the workers' wages to adhere to the City's Living Wage.
In May, Valtierrez Villa filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for retaliation for organizing with his co-workers with the assistance of the workers' center.
Rayos Burciaga, a founding member of the UWC, said: "This is another example of how workers in Santa Fe are standing up for their rights at a time when many businesses in Santa Fe still refuse to abide by the law and pay their workers an honest wage. We need stronger and faster enforcement measures for working families."
Somos Un Pueblo Unido is celebrating 20 years of being New Mexico's statewide civil and worker's rights organization. In 2012, Somos founded New Mexico's first and only worker center, or the United Worker Center of New Mexico, to organize and provide support to non-union, low-wage workers.