Largest Cement Company in United States Ordered to Comply with FLSA

A Monterey, Mexico based cement company with its United States headquarters in Houston, Texas has been ordered by the United States Labor Department to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The cement company owes workers in nine states $1.5 million in back wages. The order was announced on Thursday.

The company will pay 1,705 current cement redi-mix drivers and former cement redi-mix drivers as a part of the order. The Labor Department conducted its investigation in Tampa Bay, Florida. The investigation found that the cement company failed to pay employees overtime wages for hours worked beyond 40 in a work week. Investigators also found that the same violation occurred in eight other states including Arizona, California, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

The cement company paid its redi-mix drivers under a pay per load system where employees were paid according to the number of deliveries they made. The executive vice president of the cement company said he believed the pay per load system was in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act at the time and believed that employees would receive a higher compensation under the system in comparison to an hourly wage system. The executive also said the company was not the only company to use the pay per load system because it was common to the industry. The cement company stopped the practice at the end of 2007 and the order deals with disputes related to the system.

Covered employees must at least be paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Any number of hours worked beyond 40 per week must be paid at time and one-half.

Source: Goupstate.com, “Cement Company Ordered to Pay Back Wages to SC Workers,” Trevor Anderson, 12/31/10

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