Professional networking firm LinkedIn Corp. paid nearly $6 million in unpaid overtime wages and damages to 359 current and former employees after a U.S. Labor Department investigation.
The tech company said Monday it paid more than $3.3 million in back wages and more than $2.5 million in damages to workers and former workers at company branches in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York.
An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that LinkedIn was in violation of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to record, account and pay for all hours worked in a work week.
The Labor Department said that when notified of the violations, LinkedIn agreed to pay all the overtime due and take 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 David Weil, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division.
In a statement, a LinkedIn spokesperson said the errors were "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 [Labor Department] approaching us, we had already begun to remedy this," the Mountain View, Calif., company said. "LinkedIn has made every effort possible to ensure each impacted employee has been made whole.”
In addition to paying back wages and damages, LinkedIn agreed to provide compliance training and distribute its policy prohibiting off-the-clock work to all nonexempt employees and their managers. It also agreed to meet with managers of affected employees to remind them that overtime work must be recorded and paid. And it is reminding employees of LinkedIn’s policy prohibiting retaliation against any employee who raises concerns about workplace issues.
So-called off-the-clock hours, unpaid time worked beyond the normal work day or work week, 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,” she said. “We urge all employers, large and small, to review their pay practices to ensure employees know their basic workplace rights.”
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for all hours worked, plus time-and-a-half for hours worked beyond 40 a week.
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