Marketed as a social media and networking hub for working professionals, California-based LinkedIn Corp. recently reported on the company’s tremendous growth which includes a membership base of 313 million users. While the company also recently enjoyed a nearly 50 percent increase in second-quarter revenue earnings, it also gained negative press for business activities that violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A U.S. Labor Department investigation recently revealed that LinkedIn failed to compensate some non-exempt employees for working overtime hours. According to the FLSA, non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week are to be compensated one-and-a-half times their normal hourly wage. According to a LinkedIn executive, the company's failure to adhere to FLSA regulations resulted from "not having the right tools in place for a small subset of our sales force to track hours properly."
The Labor Department recently ordered LinkedIn to pay affected employees in four states, including California, $3.3 million in back wages in addition to an amount in excess of $2.5 million related to damages. In addition to monetary compensation, the company is also required to provide additional training for non-exempt employees related to the company's policy that "'off-the-clock work' is prohibited."
Every employee deserves to be fairly compensated for the hard work and long hours they put in. This is true regardless of a business's performance or specific work policies. It's important, therefore, that employers who fail to pay employees minimum wage or fail to compensate non-exempt employees who work overtime hours be brought to justice and forced to abide by federal wage and hour laws.
Source: Reuters, "LinkedIn to pay nearly $6 million in U.S. Labor Dept settlement," Amanda Becker, Aug. 5, 2014