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LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
LinkedIn paid nearly $6 million to 359 employees in back wages and damages for unpaid overtime, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
We don't know if each employee gets an equal share on that, but it divides out to about $16,713 apiece.
But, interestingly, LinkedIn tells us that the employees involved were primarily salespeople.
While a spokesperson at the Labor Department wouldn't tell us what sparked the investigation, she did tell us, "The employees were inside sales commissioned employees who were not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements."
The spokesperson also told us that overtime pay is not required for "individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee's specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the department's regulations."
LinkedIn earned praise from the Labor 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 Labor 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 Labor 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 $6M in unpaid overtime wages and damages to 359 employees following US Labor Department investigation
WASHINGTON —LinkedIn Corp. has agreed to pay $3,346,195 in overtime back wages and $2,509,646 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 Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that LinkedIn was in violation of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor 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 organization. The department is committed to protecting the rights of workers and leveling the playing field for all law-abiding employers.”
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 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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