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Wage theft across America is a problem that mostly affects lower income workers. [1] Although sometimes being part of the debate over a living wage, wage theft is not paying an employee the wages they are entitled to under the law. And although the law making the minimum wage mandatory is often decried as not meeting the needs of the workers, the fact remains that about 2 million workers across the country “are paid less than the mandatory minimum wage.” Some of the 2 million are not covered by the federal minimum wage laws. For example, the independent contractors working for Uber or Door Dash “gig economy” operations. [2] Underpaying employees or not paying them for the work that they complete is considered wage theft. It is a problem across the nation with many companies not paying employees their wages. In Texas, not paying wages can be a criminal offense under the 2011 Texas Senate Bill 1024. The Texas Wage Theft Bill was signed into law on May 27, 2011, by then-Governor Rick Perry. The bill was sponsored by then Senator José Rodríguez.

Senate Bill 1024 closed a loophole in Texas’ wage laws that allowed company owners to escape criminal prosecution by paying part of their employees’ wages. In Texas business owners would not pay overtime or impose mandatory pre-work and after-work duties to minimize the wages they paid out. Because they paid part of the wages, they mostly escaped criminal prosecution. SB 1024 closed that loophole. [3]

According to a 2017 study by the Economic Policy Institute, around 11% of low-income Texans were paid less than the minimum wage. In 2018, only two cities in Texas had wage theft ordinances. They were El Paso and Houston. El Paso’s wage theft ordinance was adopted in 2015. However, unlike the Houston ordinance, El Paso’s ordinance only collects information about wage theft ostensibly to punish those accused of wage theft by not allowing them access to city contracts. [4]

However, El Paso’s wage theft ordinance database became nothing more than a list of companies that individuals alleged had not paid wages. By 2018, the city’s wage theft database only had 12 businesses on it. Furthermore, although the city’s ordinance required the city to drop any city contracts with employers on the wage theft list, none had been dropped by 2018. [5]

According to a 2018 Texas Observer report, “none of the hundreds of cases” reported by an activist were on the city’s database. The city’s list of wage theft had been last updated in 2015, the year the ordinance was adopted. [6]

Because of the nature of the wage theft problem, which targets low-income earners or workers without working papers, the amount of wage theft is underreported.

Wage theft occurs when a paycheck is not provided to the employee on time or for the work they completed. It can also happen when an employee isn’t paid for overtime although they are entitled to it. Sometimes a company will classify an employee as an independent contractor to avoid paying the minimum wage they are entitled to. Another form of wage theft is when a restaurant owner takes the waiter’s tips or when they take a cut of the tips left for the wait staff. [7]

Under the Texas Payday Law, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) maintains a list of companies who have wage theft claims of $2,000 or more alleged against them. El Paso News identified 263 El Paso businesses and owners who the TWC claims owe more than $2,000 in wages. We have published the complete list of El Paso-area businesses that have pending wage theft cases before the TWC below.

According to the TWC data, there are 10,162 businesses and business owners across Texas that have been accused of wage theft. Of those 263, or 2.6% are in El Paso. In total, almost $2 million in wages are owed in El Paso. That amount represents 1.6% of the total wages reported to the TWC.

It is unclear if the City has updated its wage theft list since 2018. However, this year the Mexican consulate launched a program to help combat wage theft against immigrants. The consulate’s program is not limited to Mexican nationals as El Salvador has agreed to participate. [8]

El Paso Area Businesses With Pending Wage Theft Cases (Employer and amount)

A & A LOGISTICS INC: $10,945.72
A&S LOGISTICS, INC. : $9,330.71
AAAG – MANUFACTURING, INC: $37,396.13
ACME ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS CO. : $5,945.00
ADEEL SHAIKH: $6,864.59
ADRIAN DEL RIO BALDERRAMA: $15,863.00
AF INTERNATIONAL, INC. : $3,506.25
AHH, MARBLEOUS, LLC: $3,226.82
AIR PURE SYSTEMS, INC. : $7,101.00
ALEJANDRO CONSUELOS: $2,040.00
ALFREDO HERRERA: $9,128.99
ALPINE CABLE & CONSTRUCTION INC AND SILVIANO CORDOVA: $4,196.00
AMERICAN SOLAR GROUP LLC: $7,000.00
ANDELE MANILA CAFE BAR & GRILL, LLC: $6,546.28
ANGELICA RAMOS: $2,701.20
ARMANDO DURON: $ 10,465.52
ARMANDO MORALES & PATRICIA RAMIREZ AKA PATRICIA MORALES: $4,547.00
ARMANDO MORALES JR: $4,363.00
ARNOLD MALDONADO: $3,095.85
ARNULFO’S RESTAURANT & MARIACHI CANTINA, INC.: $2,396.78
ARTHUR C. BIEGANOWSKI, M.D., P.A.: $8,208.77
ARTURO CISNEROS: $2,173.50
ASHLEY HOME HEALTH AGENCY LLC: $12,338.00
ASSOCIATES XPRESS LOGISTICS LLC: $3,594.18
AXIS HOME HEALTH CARE INC: $3,032.42
AZUMAR 5 TRANSPORT INC.: $5,605.00
B & L TRANSPORTATION, INC.: $10,664.22
B.F.G. TRANSPORT CORPORATION: $2,940.77
BARBARA QUINTELLA: $4,286.77
BERTHA CHAVEZ: $2,410.25
BMV MEDIA, LLC: $3,584.00
BOGARTS STEAKHOUSE & BAR LLC: $4,295.95
BORDER FEED, INC.: $5,009.31
BOYNTON ENTERPRISES INC: $2,163.46
BRADFORD ALL AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, INC., BEN W BRADFORD: $21,922.41
BRENDA LIZ ILLARRAMENDI AKA BRENDA LIZ YLLARRAMENDI: $2,600.00
BRYAN HERNANDEZ: $5,820.00
BURNETTE ENTERPRISES, INC.: $4,880.88
BUTTERFIELD & BUTTERFIELD, INC.: $3,753.00
C.K. ROWS PROTECTIVE SERVICES LLC., AND MARTHA ORNELAS: $2,870.50
CARLOS LOEZA: $6,951.20
CARMEN RAMIREZ A.K.A. DEL CARMEN RAMIREZ: $2,260.00
CELESTIAL PERSONAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES LLC: $3,877.25
CESAR FEMATT: $2,096.82
CHAMBERS STEAKHOUSE, LLC: $2,608.79
CHRIS TEAGUE: $8,728.94
CHUCO ENTERPRISES, LLC: $5,250.00
CMC & ASSOCIATES INC: $4,200.00
COH ENTERPRISES LLC AND GERARDO CARRION & FERNANDO J HERRERA: $2,258.00
COJO, LLC: $2,920.00
COMMERCIAL TELECOM SYSTEMS, INC.: $8,786.26
CONTINENTAL ENTERPRISES LLC: $6,741.48
CONTINENTAL ENTERPRISES, LLC, AND MARIA KULAS: $4,059.16
COUNTRY CLUB MEDIA, LLC: $4,212.13
CRAIG THOMAS AKA ANTHONY CRAIG THOMAS: $3,466.86
CRISPIN SALAS AKA CRISPIN SALAIS JR: $2,188.75
CRV CONSTRUCTION LLC: $14,039.67
DANA J. WILEY: $4,783.24
DANIEL VALENZUELA AND JULIANA VALENZUELA AKA JULIANE SAENZ: $2,684.00
DAVID ACOSTA REAL ESTATE GROUP LP AND DAVID ACOSTA REAL ESTATE GROUP MANAGEMENT LLC, AND DAVID ACOSTA: $4,761.52
DEADRA MINIFEE: $2,203.00
DEBO, INC.: $5,066.77
DEC DIVERSIFIED ELECTRIC, LLC AND BRIAN WHITE: $2,434.00
DELRAM TRANSPORT, INC.: $45,527.13
DESERT COMMUNICATIONS INC: $6,171.16
DIVERSE MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES LLC: $ 14,260.73
DR MANUEL HERNANDEZ: $2,198.35
DYNASTY INSULATION, INC., BLANCA ARMENDARIZ AND RICHARD ARMENDARIZ AKA RICK ARMENDARIZ: $9,714.91
EBEN HOME CARE, LLC: $4,737.80
ECO-CYCLE, INCORPORATED: $6,606.50
EDUARDO GONZALEZ: $2,675.67
EDUARDO VASQUEZ: $5,201.44
EDWARD LACHICA: $2,913.75
EL COYOTE COJO LLC: $2,160.59
EL NIDO RESTAURANT INC AND JORGE HERRERA: $2,102.50
EL NOPAL RESTAURANT II LLC, ARTURO RAMOS AND MARIA DEL ROSARIO MUNOZ: $5,323.25
EL PASO FREIGHT SERVICES INC: $3,392.56
EL PASO INSTITUTE OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION, INC.: $5,243.01
EL PASO INTRO., INC.: $2,945.00
EL PASO PLAYER’S CLUB LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY: $2,142.37
ELIZA M MANRIQUE: $2,535.50
ENRIQUE DE LA RIVA & ENRIQUE DE LA RIVA JR: $2,423.24
ESTATE OF RUDY J ESQUER SR: $3,382.81
ESTEBAN GUEVARA AND JORGE GUEVARA: $3,188.68
EVA HUMANES & RENE HUMANES: $2,099.71
FERNANDO GALVEZ-DIAZ: $3,528.38
FERNANDO SANCHEZ: $3,075.00
FLAWLESS TRANSPORTATION LLC: $5,567.20
FLETES DEL NOROESTE, LLC: $10,415.00
FLORENCIO C SUSILLA & NORA C SUSILLA AKA NORA DE LA PARRA: $3,000.00
FLUID PROCESS SYSTEMS, INC.: $2,279.85
FOUR STAR TRANSPORTATION, INC. AND JUAN A BORREGO: $17,579.57
GABAMEX SPORTSWEAR INC: $2,502.00
GABRIEL TORRES: $3,653.85
GENERATION APPAREL CORP.: $2,091.14
GEORGE ANTHONY GARCIA: $2,798.50
GPJ, INC.: $2,269.90
GREAT VIBE, L.L.C.: $2,535.00
GRUPO LEVARIO, L.L.C.: $2,680.32
GS MOTOR SPORTS, INC.: $4,239.86
GTA TRANSPORT, INC.: $3,281.12
GUSTAVO CASTRELLON, AKA GUSTAVO CASTRELION: $2,105.14
GUSTAVO GARCIA RUIZ: $2,102.50
HERIBERTO ARMENDARIZ: $2,930.73
HESA TRANSPORTATION INC: $14,171.32
HOLGUIN CONSTRUCTION GROUP INC: $3,428.40
HUGO VAZQUEZ AKA HUGO VASQUEZ: $3,450.00
HUGS & KISSES DAY CARE TOO LLC: $4,213.55
HUIZAR AND SON TRUCKING INC, HUGO H HUIZAR AND MARIA R HUIZAR: $2,077.26
HUMBERTO SILEX RENTERIA: $4,696.80
INDUPLAST INC. : $10,506.00
INDUSTRIAL VERRANDO U.S.A., INC.: $2,672.62
ISIDRO LOPEZ: $4,867.50
J & S INCORPORATED: $2,186.69
J.M FERNANDEZ ENTERPRISES, INC. & JOSE M FERNANDEZ: $5,227.63
JACKIE’S PARADISE, INC. : $2,012.28
JAIME MEDINA JR: $4,631.20
JAKINSKY INTERNATIONAL, INC AND WILLIE CARL JENKINS: $8,568.69
JESUS FRESQUEZ: $2,086.92
JOE MORENO: $2,500.00
JOEL LOPEZ: $3,960.00
JOHN R OGAZ: $3,135.00
JORDAN-TAYLOR INDUSTRIES, INC.: $6,593.80
JORGE LUIS SOTO AKA JORGE SOTO: $3,698.33
JOSE A JUAREZ JR & YOLANDA JUAREZ: $5,083.28
JOSE FRANCISCO ROCHA: $9,810.00
JOSE GONZALEZ : $3,000.00
JOSE JIMENEZ: $3,240.00
JOSE LUIS ENRIQUEZ: $2,318.72
JOSE LUIS GARCIA: $2,082.00
JOSE LUIS MARTINEZ: $2,640.00
JOSE LUIS PADILLA: $4,759.23
JOSE LUZ SALCIDO JR: $3,437.50
JOSE RODOLFO ESQUIVEL: $2,350.00
JOSEFINA NAVA: $2,124.00
JOSEPH A. SOLIS: $2,810.00
JOVIZA, INC.: $2,976.59
JUAN GUTIERREZ: $2,843.21
JV TRANSPORTATION INC.: $2,732.50
KICA EXPRESS, INC.: $5,917.38
KMG PAVERS & ROCKWALLS LLC: $3,451.35
KYLE P LAMBERT: $3,170.16
L & R MANNA, LLC: $4,100.05
LANDMARK LOGISTICS, INC.: $2,237.22
LANE BLAKESLEE: $2,059.00
LAW GENERAL CONTRACTORS, L.P. AND P.J.W., INC.: $16,822.62
LIPOSCULPT, LLC: $2,400.00
LOGA TRANSPORT, INC.: $4,896.00
LOGEX XPERT LOGISTICS INC.: $4,203.20
LOS ARCOS MEXICAN BUFFET, INC.: $2,922.63
LUIS A BLANCO: $2,075.01
LUIS AVILA: $3,237.64
LUIS GARCIA: $2,175.00
LUIS M AVILA: $2,291.61
M J D ENTERPRISES INC: $5,558.00
M.S. CARGO INC: $2,322.74
MAG, INC. AND JOHN PREPOLEC: $6,813.78
MARAMAC NETWORKS, LLC AND WILLIAM MARLOW: $3,371.14
MARCO ANTONIO PROVENCIO: $2,790.31
MARGARET MAYNARD: $12,741.34
MARIA M AVILA AKA MARTINA AVILA: $3,449.38
MARTIN RAMOS: $2,355.00
MARV, LLC: $2,700.00
MAR-VIC, CORPORATION: $2,100.00
MATTRESS GALLERY INC: $4,150.00
MAVERICK FIRE PROTECTION OF TEXAS, L.L.C.: $14,828.02
MENDCARE LLC: $5,760.00
MEXICAN TRADITIONAL FLAVORS, INC.: $2,978.50
MIGUEL CASTILLO: $3,636.00
MIGUEL MOLINA AND HECTOR VILLEGAS AND JAIME ROMAN: $2,092.50
MIKE KEPNER, AKA MICHAEL F KEPNER JR: $2,233.00
MIKE MEDINA: $2,714.00
MISSIONARY EXPRESS, INC.: $3,065.79
MLP TRANSPORT LLC: $3,500.00
MORRIS R WILLIAMS: $4,528.32
MP&J ENTERTAINMENT, LLC: $3,720.00
N & B ENTERPRISES, INC.: $78,432.46
NEW AMERICAN APPAREL INC: $2,162.64
NEW BEGINNING TRANSPORTATION INC.: $3,165.60
NOVA ORION GROUP, INC.: $2,059.00
OH! TACO GRILL, INC.: $3,838.82
ON-CALL THERAPY GROUP OF EL PASO LLC: $2,128.00
ONYX ENTERTAINMENT INC: $3,454.83
OSAGE TECHNOLOGIES INC.: $63,375.03
OUTPATIENT DIAGNOSTIC NUCLEAR MEDICINE, INC.: $10,877.38
PACIFIC ENVIRNMENTAL RECOVERY INC: $36,000.00
PARKS & KIMBLE CORPORATION: $4,777.19
PASO DEL NORTE MFG INC: $9,830.65
PASOTEX WAREHOUSE, INC.: $53,700.00
PDG, INC.: $5,475.00
PEARL A SIMMONS: $4,690.00
PEDRO (PETER) RIVERA, JR.: $2,945.22
PERLASCA & MARIONI INC & N.D.R.S. INC: $4,200.00
PETE DELGADO: $5,840.00
PLAZA ENTERPRISES INC: $3,781.30
PROJECT RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, INC.: $3,650.00
RAIMUND WEIDINGER AKA RAYMOND WEIDINGER: $3,320.00
RAINBOW OSTRICH PRODUCTS, INC.: $21,239.72
RAMON A. MONTES: $2,145.00
RANGER SECURITY DETECTORS INC: $6,599.97
RAUL GONZALEZ: $4,048.16
RAUL MEDRANO: $3,105.00
REBECCA MEDINA: $2,154.98
RGCCM LLC: $7,782.06
RJ & J DELIVERY SERVICE LLC: $10,469.14
ROBERTO MORA: $2,617.20
RODOLFO ESQUER JR AKA RUDY ESQUER: $2,550.81
RODOLFO VALDEZ: $2,642.27
ROGER RUSSELL : $3,000.00
ROSANNE P GOMEZ: $9,480.69
RS WALKER TRANSPORT LLC: $16,805.73
RUFINA CARBAJAL AKA RUFINA AGUILAR AKA RUFINA DIAZ: $2,206.46
RUTTER FINANCIAL SERVICES CORPORATION: $2,360.04
SALINAS HOUSING INC.: $2,470.00
SAN FRANCISCO STEAK & SPIRITS, INC.: $3,750.00
SEASONAL FRUIT JUICE, INC.: $122,297.83
SERGIO ALBA: $2,187.55
SERGIO HURTADO: $2,749.25
SIDELINERS INTERNATIONAL INC: $10,463.19
SIERRA HOME CARE, LLC: $56,245.45
SIGIFREDO PEREZ: $3,925.91
SONIA QUINTANA: $20,109.82
SOTELO TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC.: $7,255.16
SOUTH STAR TRANSPORT OF EL PASO, TEXAS, INC.: $2,112.38
SOY INTJ PA: $2,459.08
STATTON TRANSPORTATION, INC.: $2,122.78
SUI MAN, INC.: $4,046.15
SYLVIA VILLANUEVA AKA SYLVIA C DEL PALACIO: $3,993.58
SYSA INVESTMENTS, LLC: $4,896.00
T.R. TIMES, INC. : $11,934.70
TARGET TRANSPORTATION SERVICES INC: $11,879.13
TAX MATTERS, INC.: $2,375.00
TBS TRANSPORTATION, INC.: $3,565.81
TEAM ALLIANCE SPORTS LLC: $2,569.13
TEAM MOO LLC : $4,545.46
TELYNX, INC.: $15,066.65
TEXAS SENIOR & DISABLED DAYCARE, LLC: $7,770.67
TIM STIEFER: $2,258.00
TLP-EPL ENTERPRISES, INC.: $2,026.88
TONY SOLO ENTERPRISES, INC.: $3,036.75
TRANS AMERICA CARRIERS, INC.: $26,620.68
TRANS AMERICA CARRIERS, INC., EFREN BRITO AND LINDA: $7,324.57
TRANSPORT Y ENLACES DE OCCIDENTE, INC. AND MANUEL : $21,400.00
TRANSPORTES M.A. TORRES, INC.: $13,520.00
TRAVIS CRAWFORD INVESTMENT CO INC: $4,003.16
TVO MANAGEMENT SERVICES LLC: $2,954.00
UNITED BONDING SERVICES, INC.: $10,194.75
UNITED OWNER OPERATORS INC. CARLOS BRITO: $4,244.10
UPTOWN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING COMPANY: $4,640.00
V & A LOGISTICS LLC: $3,590.48
VALUTAX CONSULTING SERVICES, INC.: $4,983.08
VERGARA TRANSPORTATION CO., INC.: $2,064.38
VICTOR RUIZ: $2,400.00
W.D. TRANSPORTATION, INC.: $2,803.10
WALL COMPONENTS OF EL PASO, INC.: $5,739.16
WALTMAN INVESTMENTS, INC.: $8,623.07
WEST TEXAS COUNCIL: $3,770.80
WEST TEXAS FREIGHT LINES, INC.: $3,172.14
WILLIAM L DOTSON: $5,387.75
WILSON AND FIERRO DISTRIBUTING & WAREHOUSE, INC. & FRANK FIERRO: $2,030.00
XS ENTERTAINMENT INC.: $2,673.04
YVETTE GAITAN AKA YVETTE GAYTAN: $17,237.45
Total: $1,781,628.87
The list was last updated on October 26, 2022.

The City of El Paso 2018 Wage Theft List

Catalina Contreras, d/b/a AAA Cleaners
Martha A Diaz, d/b/a The Gallery and/or Gallery Perfumes
Lorenzo Tellez & Jose L. Espinoza
Javier Garcia
Armando Rodriquez dba A&A Superiod Transport/A&A Superior Construction/ABA Transport
Ricardo Ponce dba AR Trucking
Fletes Del Noroeste LLC
Jaime Gandara and Charley Gandara
Carlos Wirz and Jessica Wirz
Miguel Castillo dba Castillo Remodeling
Carlos Orona
Hugo Flores dba Flores Trucking

Footnotes:

  1. Nicole Hallett, “The Problem of Wage Theft,” 37 Yale Law & Policy Review, Rev. 93, 2018.
  2. Hallett, “The Problem of Wage Theft.”
  3. Haleigh Svoboda, “Cities Make Wage-Theft Prosecution a Priority,” Texas Tribune, October 31, 2011.
  4. Gus Bova, “Labor Wage Wars,” Texas Observer,” June 13, 2018.
  5. Bova, “Labor Wage Wars.”
  6. Bova, “Labor Wage Wars.”
  7. Hallett, “The Problem of Wage Theft.”
  8. Julian Resendiz, “Consulate out to eradicate wage theft, labor abuse against immigrants,” Border Report, August 29, 2022.

Martin Paredes

Reporting on public corruption, border politics, immigration and public policy in El Paso since 2000.