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Mexico-Based Cement Company Ordered to Pay Back Wages for Overtime Work

In this economy, everybody is struggling financially. In seeking to make ends meet, working overtime has become a matter of financial necessity for many folks. Federal overtime laws seek to protect employees by ensuring minimum standards of payment for overtime work. Unfortunately, sometimes companies fail to comply with these federal laws.

In a recent ruling by the U.S. department of Labor, Mexico-based cement and ready-mix concrete company CEMEX Inc. has been ordered to pay approximately $1.51 million in overtime back wages to over 1,700 current and former employees in eight different states for unpaid overtime payments.

Federal regulators first became aware of the concrete company's failure to pay overtime wages to employees in Tampa. Further investigation revealed that there were company-wide overtime violations arising from the company's failure to pay its "pay-per-load" employees for hours exceeding the 40-hour standard week.

The Dallas regional solicitor general filed a complaint in the U.S. Southern District Court in Houston in September of 2008 after the investigation revealed that the overtime pay discrepancy was affecting CEMEX employees in Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Mexico, Georgia, California, and Arizona. CEMEX has its U.S. headquarters in Houston.

CEMEX was also ordered to continue paying the usual time-and-a-half overtime rate while maintaining detailed and accurate payroll records.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis stated about the case, "Ensuring that workers are paid their full wages is a top priority of this department. This legal action is intended to ensure that the company complies with federal overtime laws now and in the future."

Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal, "Feds order CEMEX to pay $1.5 M back wages," Barrett Goldsmith, 3 Jan 2011.

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