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


Class Certification Order


3/18/2019 New Mexico investigates nonprofit group over pay disparities

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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