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Don't Endorse This: LinkedIn Fails to Pay Employees Overtime, Forced to Issue $3.3M in Back Pay

Ever put in extra hours at work, only for it to go unnoticed, unappreciated -- or perhaps even unpaid? If so, you might sympathize with 300 employees at LinkedIn, who recently received compensation for previously unpaid overtime.

(Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee/Flickr)

Last week, the Department of Labor announced that the popular professional networking site has agreed to issue $3.3 million in overtime back pay as well as $2.5 million in damages to 359 current and former employees. Apparently, LinkedIn hadn’t kept track of the total hours worked by employees in a number of different branches. However, according to CNN, the Labor Department said 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.”

A spokesperson told Business Insider that most of the employees were salespeople, and said that overtime is not required for "individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee's specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the department's regulations."

The Federal Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay nonexempt employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, plus time-and-a-half for overtime. If companies fail to do so, they can be found liable not only for unpaid overtime, but for damages equal to the amount of their back pay.

"Off the clock' hours are all too common for the American worker," Susana Blanco, director of the Labor Department's San Francisco office, said in a statement. "This practice harms workers, denies them the wages they have rightfully earned and takes away time with families.”

LinkedIn says that it didn’t have the right tools in place to accurately track hours, and that they had already started to fix the situation when the DOL intervened. Hopefully, they do now -- and hopefully this serves as a warning to other companies that they better enable employees to track hours accurately, so that they’ll get paid what the deserve, and on time, too.

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