Protecting Workers with Disabilities from Exploitation: Dugan et. al v. Adelante Development Center, Inc.

Towards Justice filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of New Mexico workers with physical and intellectual disabilities who are employed in “sheltered workshops.” In these workshops, workers with disabilities scan and shred documents, remove staples from paper with their hands, drive around town to retrieve boxes for shredding, fix tears in documents, and perform a variety of other tasks. For their labor, workers are paid less than the New Mexico or Albuquerque minimum wage—sometimes as little as 18 cents per hour. Our clients seek an injunction against this anachronistic practice and backpay for illegal and unfair wages.  

Case Documents

Press Releases

Press

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Recovering Wages for All Hours Worked: Avendano et. al v. Averus Inc. and Michael Shank

Towards Justice represented a group of workers dedicated to cleaning commercial kitchen exhaust hoods who were dramatically underpaid for their hours worked.  These brave workers filed a lawsuit against their employer to recover wages and overtime premiums earned, but which Averus had denied workers by improperly designating numerous work hours each week as wait time or commuting time.  

Case Documents

Order Denying Summary Judgement

Order Certifying Class

Press Release

Press

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Protecting Workers with Disabilities from Exploitation: Dugan et. al v. Adelante Development Center, Inc.

Towards Justice filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of New Mexico workers with physical and intellectual disabilities who are employed in “sheltered workshops.” In these workshops, workers with disabilities scan and shred documents, remove staples from paper with their hands, drive around town to retrieve boxes for shredding, fix tears in documents, and perform a variety of other tasks. For their labor, workers are paid less than the New Mexico or Albuquerque minimum wage—sometimes as little as 18 cents per hour. Our clients seek an injunction against this anachronistic practice and backpay for illegal and unfair wages.  

Case Documents

Press Releases

Press

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Fighting Systemic Wage Theft and Discrimination: Solis v. The Circle Group

Workers at SkyHouse Denver filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of construction workers nationwide alleging a pattern of wage theft and discrimination at construction sites around the country. Workers accuse Defendants of systematic exploitation by refusing to pay workers for all of the hours they work, refusing to pay overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, and pervasive sex and race discrimination that results in Latina female workers being paid less while performing harder and more dangerous work than other employees. Plaintiffs settled the case in 2017, recovering over $800,000 for the class.  Towards Justice represented the plaintiffs with co-counsel Lowrey Parady LLP.

Case Documents

Complaint

Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

Motion for Final Approval

Press Release

6/2/2016 Construction Workers Allege Stolen Wages and Pervasive Discrimination at SkyHouse Denver and Across the Country

Press

12/20/2017 Denver construction workers recover more than $800,000 after facing wage theft discrimination

12/20/2017 Workers who hung drywall at SkyHouse Denver receive $800K wage settlement

12/20/2017 Workers, advocates celebrate settlements in SkyHouse Denver wage case

6/13/2016 A Handful of Apparently Misclassified Workers Illustrate Big State Problem

6/8/2016 Lawsuit accuses Denver builders of wage theft, sexual harassment and racism

6/2/2016 Denver Construction Workers Allege Wage Theft

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Empowering Workers to Recover Earned Wages: Miles v. Ella Bliss Beauty Bar

Representing manicurist Lisa Miles, Towards Justice and co-counsel filed a class action lawsuit in Federal Court alleging that Ella Bliss Beauty Bar systematically stole employees’ wages in blatant violation of state and federal law. Workers allege that Ella Bliss implemented systematic, written policies that were clearly illegal and denied workers the hard-earned wages needed to support their families. Ella Bliss Beauty Bar forced its service technicians to perform janitorial work without pay, refused to pay overtime, withheld tips, and shorted commissions. Ms. Miles not only seeks her own back wages, but also the wages stolen from all Ella Bliss Beauty Bar Service Technicians. Towards Justice represents the plaintiff with co-counsel Killmer Lane & Newman LLP.

Case Documents

Complaint

Press Releases

5/17/2018 Workers Sue Posh Ella Beauty Bar for Wage Theft

Press

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Empowering Temporary Workers to Recover Stolen Wages: Valverde v. Xclusive Staffing, Inc. et al

Towards Justice represents a proposed class of temporary workers employed by one of Colorado’s largest staffing companies, XClusive Staffing. The workers allege that XClusive Staffing and its President Diane Astley have been stealing hard earned wages through illegal deductions and other wage and hour violations for years. Workers allege that XClusive continues to force its employees to pay to get paid – charging employees $3.00 on each payday to cover the cost of issuing their paychecks – and auto-deducting work time for breaks that employees are never allowed to take.

Case Documents

Press Release

Press

4/5/2016 Employee Files Complaint Against Xclusive Staffing

4/1/2016 Hotel staffing agency sued over alleged wage laws violations

3/24/2016 Class Says Hotel Staffing Firm Cheated Them

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Combating Systemic Minimum Wage Violations for Nevada Shepherds: Cántaro et. al v. Western Range Association et. al

Towards Justice represents a proposed class of shepherds alleging systematic violation of the Nevada minimum wage by paying shepherds as little as two dollars an hour. Towards Justice represents the plaintiffs with co-counsel Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

Case Documents

Amended Complaint

Press

5/5/2016 Shepherds Say They’re Paid Just $2 an Hour

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In The Courtroom

Our litigators help workers advance legal claims that address systemic injustice. We use antitrust, anti-slavery, fraud, wage-and-hour, and common-law challenges to address the wide variety of practices that nickel-and-dime low-wage workers out of their hard-earned wages. We have represented a hundred thousand childcare workers alleging wage suppression, tens of thousands of immigrant detainees alleging forced labor, and hundreds of construction workers, shepherds, manicurists, janitors, and kitchen hood cleaners. We are leaders in challenging anti-competitive practices that reduce worker bargaining power and support marginalized people who challenge structural impediments to their advancement.

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