Employers’ Choice on FLSA: Train Now or Later After Millions in Damages

News Updates

An Aug. 4, 2014, settlement between the U.S. Department of Labor and LinkedIn illustrates that not training employees and managers on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements may prove much costlier than providing the training in the first place.

LinkedIn agreed to pay $3.35 million in overtime back wages and $2.51 million in liquidated damages to 359 employees working at company branches in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York. The Wage and Hour Division found that the company was in violation of overtime and record-keeping provisions of the FLSA.

According to the investigators, LinkedIn failed to record, account and pay for all hours worked in a workweek.

In addition to paying back wages and liquidated damages, LinkedIn agreed to:

  •          Provide compliance training and distribute its policy prohibiting off-the-clock work to all nonexempt employees and their managers.
  •          Meet with managers of affected employees to remind them that overtime work must be recorded and paid for.
  •          Remind employees of LinkedIn’s policy prohibiting retaliation against any employee who raises concerns about workplace issues.

“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 organization,” said Susana Blanco, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in San Francisco. “The department is committed to protecting the rights of workers and leveling the playing field for all law-abiding employers.”

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, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, in a press release. “We are particularly pleased that LinkedIn also has committed to take positive and practical steps towards securing future compliance.” 

Allen Smith, J.D., is the manager of workplace law content for SHRM. Follow him @SHRMlegaleditor.

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