The US Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Houston-based Cemex Inc. for failing to properly pay overtime back wages amounting to more than $5 million to about 2,000 ready mix drivers from eight states in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The department filed the suit against Cemex following an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division in Houston covering the three-year period from September 2005 to September 2008.
"It is a top priority of this department to ensure that workers receive all the wages they have earned and we have recovered record amounts of back wages for workers since 2001," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "With this legal action, we are seeking to recover more than $5 million that 2,000 workers are owed for their overtime work."
The investigation found the company failed to pay overtime wages on piece rate and incentive bonus pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek, for which nonexempt employees are entitled to premium pay. In the case of employees paid on a piece rate, and/or entitled to receive an incentive bonus, all remuneration must be included into the regular rate of computing the overtime premium. In both instances, an employee is entitled to a sum equivalent to one-half the regular rate of pay multiplied by the number of hours worked in excess of 40 for the week.
Affected employees of Cemex, a provider of cement and concrete products, worked in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.