In an ironic twist of fate, LinkedIn – a company which believes its number one priority is talent – has been forced by the US Department of Labor to pay 359 past and current employees US$6 million in unpaid overtime wages and damages.
In a statement, the Department of Labor said LinkedIn has reimbursed employees in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York a total of US$3,346,195 in overtime back wages and US$2,509,646 in liquidated damages.
“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,” Dr. David Weil, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, said in the statement.
“We are particularly pleased that LinkedIn also has committed to take positive and practical steps towards securing future compliance.”
Shannon Stubo, vice president of corporate communications for LinkedIn, said in a statement: “Talent is LinkedIn’s number one priority, so of course, we were eager to work closely with the Department of Labor to quickly and equitably rectify this situation.”
The Labor Department’s investigators found LinkedIn was in violation of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and had failed to record, account and pay for all the hours worked in a work week.
Stubo said this incident has been a result of “not having the right tools in place for some employees and their managers to track hours properly”, adding the affected workers – most of whom are in sales – were paid in the second quarter of this year.
Aside from compensating employees, LinkedIn has also agreed to an enhanced compliance agreement with the Department of Labor.
This means the company will “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.”