Professional Networking Site LinkedIn to Pay $6 Million for FLSA Violations
After being investigated by the US Labor Department for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations, LinkedIn has been forced to pay out nearly $6 million in damages and unpaid overtime to 359 employees in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York.
The investigation revealed violations of the overtime and record-keeping parts of the FLSA. Specifically, LinkedIn failed to properly pay and account for “off-the-clock” hours worked by non-exempt employees. These hours should have been recorded on the employee's timesheets and paid either at the employee's usual rate or at an overtime rate where such work caused the employee's hours to exceed 40 in a workweek. Under California law, overtime is required where an employee works in excess of 8 hours in a workday or in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.
In addition to the monetary penalties handed to LinkedIn, the company agreed to take steps to prevent further violations from occurring. LinkedIn will now operate under a compliance agreement with the US Labor Department that ensures the company will provide compliance training and make sure all non-exempt employees have copies of the company's overtime work policy. Managers of employees that have been affected by the violations will be given reminders to give payment for all overtime work. Lastly, the company will remind employees that LinkedIn has a policy that prohibits any retaliation for employees acting as whistleblowers.
These types of violations are surprisingly common across the country, but many employees either feel that these standards are normal or are simply afraid of reporting potential FLSA violations to the authorities. Under the FLSA, non-exempt workers or those who are not managers paid on salary, must be paid a federal minimum wage plus overtime pay of 1.5 times the hourly rate when their hours go over the 40 hour work week. Any employee in California or nationwide who has not been paid minimum wage or overtime has the right to bring legal action against their employer.
Furthermore, in this instance, the employees alleged that their employment status was mischaracterized. Mischaracterization of employees as exempt v. non-exempt is one of the more common ways employers violate the FLSA. Workers who are accidentally or intentionally mischaracterized as “exempt” may fail to receive the overtime compensation to which they are legally entitled. Exemptions typically cover certain white collar workers such as administrative, executive or professional positions.
If you believe that you have wrongfully been denied minimum wage or overtime, an experienced employment lawyer may be able to help. If you have questions or concerns about your exempt or non-exempt classification and your right to overtime compensation, contact the experienced employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley. Feel free to call us toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or click here to contact us via email.