LinkedIn to pay nearly $7.5m after violating US wage law

LinkedIn to pay nearly $6 million in US Labour Dept settlement

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – LinkedIn Corp has agreed to pay nearly US$6 million (S$7.5 million) to more than 350 current and former employees after a US Department of Labour investigation found the online career-networking company violated the country’s wage law.

In a settlement announced by the Labour Department on Monday, LinkedIn will pay more than US$3.3 million in back overtime wages and more than US$2.5 million in damages to workers at company branches in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York.

LinkedIn 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, the administrator of the Labour Department’s Wage and Hour Division, in a statement.

A LinkedIn spokeswoman said that talent is the company’s No. 1 priority and they were eager to work closely with the Labour Department to reach the settlement.

“This was a function of not having the right tools in place for a small subset of our sales force to track hours properly,”said Shannon Stubo, vice-president of corporate commmunications.

The Labour Department said LinkedIn failed to record and compensate workers for all hours worked, violating provisions of the Fair Labour Standards Act.

In addition to the settlement payment, LinkedIn will train all employees that “off-the-clock work” is prohibited for all non-exempt workers, the Labour Department said.

The Act requires that non-exempt workers, who are not salaried managers, be paid the federal minimum hourly wage of US$7.25 plus overtime pay for hours worked past 40 in a given work week.

LinkedIn’s shares were trading at US$203.55 on Monday, up 0.9 per cent on a day when advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Last week, the company reported a 47 per cent jump in second-quarter revenue, surpassing analysts’ expectations.

The website’s membership jumped by a third to 313 million in the quarter that ended June 30.