The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Houston-based Cemex Inc., alleging that the company failed to properly pay more than $5 million in overtime back wages to about 2,000 ready-mix drivers from Arizona and seven other states.
The department filed the suit against Cemex after an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division in Houston covering the three-year period from September 2005 to September 2008. It alleges violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In the East Valley, Cemex, a provider of cement and concrete products, has facilities in Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek.
The investigation found the company failed to pay overtime wages for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek to employees entitled to premium pay, according to the suit.
"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," Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said in a statement. "With this legal action, we are seeking to recover more than $5 million that 2,000 workers are owed for their overtime work."
A Cemex spokeswoman said the company is in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
"We had been working with the Department of Labor regarding some disputed issues related to the pay-by-load program that the company had in place prior to 2007," said Jennifer Borden, Cemex's manager of external communications. "Although the company has not admitted liability, we thought we had reached an agreement with the (department). We are disappointed that the (department) has thrown out the agreement and decided to go this avenue."
Affected employees of Cemex worked in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.