WASHINGTON - LinkedIn has paid nearly $6 million (S$7.5 million) in back wages and damages to 359 current and former employees after a US investigation found it had failed to compensate them appropriately for overtime work.
Under a settlement announced by the Labor Department on Monday, the career-focused social network said it paid more than $3.3 million in overtime back wages and $2.5 million in damages to workers in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York.
"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 Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division.
"We are particularly pleased that LinkedIn also has committed to take positive and practical steps toward securing future compliance." Labor Department investigators found that LinkedIn violated the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act by neglecting to record, account and pay for all hours worked in a workweek.
Under the law, covered, nonexempt employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and a half their regular hourly rates for any work beyond 40 hours in a week.
LinkedIn attributed the violations to "not having the right tools in place for a small subset of our sales force to track hours properly," adding that it had begun to remedy the problem before the Labor Department investigation.
"LinkedIn has made every effort possible to ensure each impacted employee has been made whole," a spokesman added in a statement.
The company has also agreed to provide compliance training and distribute its policy prohibiting off the clock work to all nonexempt employees and their managers, remind managers of the affected employees that overtime work must be recorded and paid for, and reiterate its policy prohibiting retaliation against any employee who raises workplace concerns.
"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, Wage and Hour Division district director 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."