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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

LinkedIn: Company Pays $6 Million in Unpaid Overtime Wages, Damages

Posted By on Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 12:33 PM

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The professional networking site LinkedIn recently paid a total of nearly $6 million in (previously) unpaid overtime wages and damages to 359 former and current employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. LinkedIn had not paid $3.3 million in overtime wages, and $2.5 million in liquidated damages, to those working at company branches in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York. They settled these debts in the second quarter of 2014.

The investigation found the Mountain View-based company was in violation of the overtime and record keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The company agreed to pay all the overtime back wages and has stated that it will take steps to prevent repeat violations. 

"We were eager to work closely with the Dept. of Labor to quickly and equitably rectify this situation," a LinkedIn spokesperson told SF Weekly in an email. "This was a function of not having the right tools in place for a small subset of our sales force to track hours properly; prior to the [Dept. of Labor] approaching us, we had already begun to remedy this. LinkedIn has made every effort possible to ensure each impacted employee has been made whole.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Labor said their investigation took place over a two year period from February of 2012 to February 2014. While they would not disclose the specific reason for the investigation they noted that many are initiated by complaints, and they all have to do with the enforcement of law assuring an employer's compliance. 

LinkedIn failed to record, account, and pay for all hours worked in a work week, the investigation found. And 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.

The company also met 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," said Susana Blanco, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in San Francisco. "This practice harms workers, denies them the wages they have rightfully earned and takes away time with families.” 

Federal law requires that covered, non-exempt employees must be paid 1.5 times their regular hourly rates beyond the 40-hour work week. 
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