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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [12/30/2010]
Contact Name: Juan Rodriguez or Elizabeth Todd
Phone Number: (972) 850-4709 or x4710
Release Number: 10-1769-DAL

US Labor Department resolves back wage case against Houston-based CEMEX

Workers in 8 states to recover more than $1.5 million in overtime back wages

HOUSTON — The U.S. Department of Labor announced the filing of a consent judgment in a case against CEMEX Inc. and the recovery of $1,514,449 in overtime back wages for 1,705 current and former ready-mix drivers who worked in eight states.

"Ensuring that workers are paid their full wages is a top priority of this department," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This legal action involving more than $1.5 million in back wages for more than 1,700 employees is intended to ensure that the company complies with federal overtime laws now and in the future. Earning overtime pay is how many Americans make ends meet, even though working long hours often means significant sacrifices for workers and their families."

CEMEX is the United States' largest supplier of cement and ready-mix concrete, as well as an important producer of aggregates, concrete blocks and other building materials. Based on 2008 company information, CEMEX is comprised of 18 cement plants either wholly or partially owned, 536 ready-mix plants, 102 aggregates quarries, 43 land distribution centers and 11 marine terminals.

The Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division began a local investigation in Tampa, Fla., which disclosed systemic overtime violations resulting from the employer's failure to compensate "pay-per-load" employees with premium pay for hours that they worked more than 40 in a workweek. The investigation was then expanded to cover affected CEMEX employees in Arizona, California, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. After conducting employee interviews and reviewing time and payroll records, the department's Dallas regional solicitor of labor filed a complaint with the court Sept. 11, 2008.

The parties have now reached an agreement to settle allegations that CEMEX failed to properly pay overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The agreement was filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division Dec. 20, 2010. In addition to requiring that CEMEX pay the back wages it owes its employees, the court's consent order requires CEMEX to comply with the requirements of the FLSA in the future or risk being found in contempt of the order.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rate of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the division's district office in Houston at 713-339-5500. Information is also available on the internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.