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News Release

Albuquerque Hotels Pay $79,091 in Back Wages and Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Violations

ALBUQUERQUE, NM Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Santa Fe Picacho Hotel Management Corporation - doing business as Heritage Hotels & Resorts and Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town in Albuquerque - has paid $39,545 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 69 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements.

WHD investigators found that the hotel corporation misclassified banquet workers as tipped employees and failed to include service charges earned by those workers when calculating their overtime rates. Instead of basing overtime rates on all of the wages employees had earned, the employer based overtime only on workers’ base hourly rates. This practice resulted in the employer paying overtime at rates lower than those required by law. Additional overtime violations took place when the employer failed to combine employees’ hours when they worked at multiple locations in the same workweek.

“Employers must pay workers all the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Evelyn Sanchez, in Albuquerque. “The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to other employers to review their pay practices to ensure they are operating in compliance with the law. We will continue our work to ensure protections for workers, and a level playing field for employers. Violations like those in this case can be avoided.”

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

Wage and Hour Division
March 25, 2019
Release Number
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux