Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
16 gravel truck drivers receive more than $173,000 in overtime back wages following US Labor Department investigation
PORTER, Texas -- Sixteen gravel truck drivers employed at Porter Ready Mix Inc., in Porter, have been paid a total of $173,863 in overtime back wages after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions.
Investigations conducted by the division’s Houston District Office found that gravel truck drivers were paid on a per-trip basis and were not compensated at time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Additionally, accurate records of employees’ work hours and wages were not kept. The records did not reflect weekly hours worked and the overtime wages due for some employees.
“Paying employees on a piece-rate basis does not absolve an employer of its responsibility to pay overtime,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “Porter Ready Mix failed to ensure that its per-trip pay practices were consistent with the FLSA’s overtime requirements. As a result, hard working truck drivers were deprived of more than $173,000—wages that should have been in their pockets all along. This case should remind other construction industry employers to examine their own payroll practices and ensure that they are paying their employees in compliance with the law.”
Porter Ready Mix, with locations in Porter, Spring and Tomball, has agreed to maintain future compliance with the FLSA and has paid all back wages due to the affected workers. As a result of the investigation, the company also changed a number of its employment practices to prevent future FLSA violations. For example, the company reported that it has begun recording daily hours worked by gravel truck drivers and is now also computing and paying wages on a weekly basis.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses, piece-rate earnings and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In general, hours worked includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal work activity to the end of the last principal activity of the workday. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.
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 Houston District Office at 713-339-5500. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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