LinkedIn, the popular social networking site for professionals, just paid $3+ million in overtime back wages and an additional $2+ million in liquidated damages to settle claims brought on behalf of former and current employees.

The settlement marked the conclusion of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) into alleged (and apparently substantiated) Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) violations. Ironically—DOL itself has a LinkedIn profile!  DOL found that LinkedIn failed to record, account and pay for all hours worked in a workweek due to off the clock hours and sloppy timekeeping processes.

LinkedIn may have been able to avoid liability if it had implemented solid timekeeping policies and if it had conducted an FLSA audit— a (potentially privileged) inspection of its time, wage and recordkeeping practices – before someone complained to the DOL. A little preventative medicine goes a long way! If you think a policy review and/or an FLSA audit might be right for your company, contact legal counsel for guidance.