US Government: LinkedIn Needs To Pay $US6 Million In Overtime To Hundreds Of Employees

LinkedIn Jeff WeinerGetty Images/Mandel NganLinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

LinkedIn has agreed to pay nearly $US6 million to 359 employees in back wages and damages for unpaid overtime, says the U.S. Department of Labour.

LinkedIn tells us that the employees involved were primarily salespeople. We don’t know if each employee gets an equal share on that, but it divides out to about $US16,713 apiece.

LinkedIn earned praise from the Labour Department for cooperating with the investigation. But it still could be considered an embarrassing situation for a company in the human resources business.

A LinkedIn spokesperson tells us:

Talent is LinkedIn’s number one priority, so of course, we were eager to work closely with the Dept. of Labour to quickly and equitably rectify this situation. This was a function of not having the right tools in place for some employees and their managers to track hours properly; prior to the DoL approaching us, we had already begun to remedy this. LinkedIn has made every effort possible to ensure each impacted employee has been made whole.

We’ve written before about the tech industry’s culture that pressures people to work all the time. Looks like the Labour department wants to crack down on that.

“‘Off the clock’ hours are all too common for the American worker. This practice harms workers, denies them the wages they have rightfully earned and takes away time with families,” said Susana Blanco, district director for the division in San Francisco in the press release.

Here’s the full press release.

LinkedIn to pay nearly $US6M in unpaid overtime wages and damages to 359 employees following US Labour Department investigation

WASHINGTON — LinkedIn Corp. has agreed to pay $US3,346,195 in overtime back wages and $US2,509,646 in liquidated damages to 359 former and current employees working at company branches in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labour’s Wage and Hour Division found that LinkedIn was in violation of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labour Standards Act. When notified of the violations, LinkedIn agreed to pay all the overtime back wages due and take proactive steps to prevent repeat violations.

“This company has shown a great deal of integrity by fully cooperating with investigators and stepping up to the plate without hesitation to help make workers whole,” said Dr. David Weil, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. “We are particularly pleased that LinkedIn also has committed to take positive and practical steps towards securing future compliance.”

LinkedIn failed to record, account and pay for all hours worked in a workweek, investigators found. In addition to paying back wages and liquidated damages, LinkedIn entered into an enhanced compliance agreement with the department that includes agreeing to: provide compliance training and distribute its policy prohibiting off-the-clock work to all nonexempt employees and their managers; meet with managers of current affected employees to remind them that overtime work must be recorded and paid for; and remind employees of LinkedIn’s policy prohibiting retaliation against any employee who raises concerns about workplace issues.

“Off the clock’ hours are all too common for the American worker. This practice harms workers, denies them the wages they have rightfully earned and takes away time with families,” said Susana Blanco, district director for the division in San Francisco. “We urge all employers, large and small, to review their pay practices to ensure employees know their basic workplace rights and that the commitment to compliance works through all levels of the organisation. The department is committed to protecting the rights of workers and levelling the playing field for all law-abiding employers.”

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $US7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees. Additionally, the law requires employers to maintain accurate time and payroll records, and it prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

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). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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