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State recovers nearly $50K in lost wages

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions recently recovered nearly $50,000 in lost wages after resolving a series of work claims against a nursing care provider.

The state workforce department’s Labor Relations Division announced Wednesday it has resolved 19 claims totaling $49,084 from former employees of Heartland Care, Inc., which operated nursing homes in Artesia, Hobbs, and Portales. The workforce department has received 33 complaints from former employees, dating as far back as 2014, according to a release.

However, Heartland filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016, and the agency was unable to collect the money owed due to the company’s financial situation, the release said.

Last June, Heartland emerged from bankruptcy, allowing LRD to pursue collections again. DWS Office of General Counsel and LRD worked to facilitate voluntary settlements between Heartland and 19 of the 33 original people who had filed claims, the release said.

The agency made several attempts but was unable to contact the 14 additional people who made claims against Heartland. Their claims remain open should they wish to pursue settlements, and they may contact the LRD office in Albuquerque at (505) 841-4400.

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