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Former employees say restaurant owes them wages

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Four former employees are fighting the owners of the Hacienda Del Rio restaurant for back wages and damages, which they say total over $40,000.

The group was joined by members of El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, an immigrant advocacy group, for a protest Tuesday outside the Old Town restaurant to demand the collection of the wages as ordered by state District Court in Bernalillo County.

An arbitration award document dated Nov. 21, 2017 found in favor of plaintiffs Guillermo Camacho, Marilu Rodriguez Hernandez, Mayra Gonzales Cruz and Blanca Garcia Villalobos.

According to a news release, the plaintiffs brought suit against their former employer over two years ago, claiming they were not paid minimum wage or overtime, did not receive final paychecks and had their job statuses misclassified from hourly to salaried employees.

Arbitrator Robert J. Curtis also awarded attorney fees of $7,484 and costs in the sum of $829 to be paid by defendants Hacienda Del Rio Inc, dba as Hacienda Del Rio Restaurant and Cantina, Metro Source LLC, David Rosales and Andres Griego Rosales. On Dec. 18, District Judge Nancy J. Franchini approved the decision, saying Hacienda Del Rio and its owners were liable for the unpaid wages.

Calls to Hacienda Del Rio’s business owners and attorney seeking comment were not immediately returned.