Possible deal to keep fracking off ballot

Colorado’s Democratic governor on Monday urged those pushing dueling proposals on oil and gas drilling to stop their campaigns to avoid a messy ballot fight and called for a task force to deal with energy development.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) joined Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) at the state Capitol to detail what they are pitching as a compromise to prevent four initiatives that support or oppose hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

But it remains to be seen whether both sides will pull their initiatives on fracking. Polis has financially backed two of the measures seeking limits on drilling. Hickenlooper said the suggested drilling restrictions pose “a significant threat to Colorado’s economy.”

Polis’s involvement in the initiatives also raised concern in his party that taking the issue to voters would negatively impact Democrats in November by increasing fundraising for Republicans, who generally support oil and gas development, and possibly boosting GOP turnout.

As a compromise to avoid the ballot fight, Hickenlooper said an 18-member task force would issue recommendations to the Legislature next year on how to minimize conflicts between residents and the energy industry.

— Associated Press

LinkedIn settles case over wage violations

LinkedIn has agreed to pay nearly $6 million to more than 350 current and former employees after a Labor Department investigation found that the online career-networking company violated wage law.

In a settlement announced by the Labor Department on Monday, LinkedIn will pay more than $3.3 million in back overtime wages and more than $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,” David Weil, the administrator of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, said in a statement.

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

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

In addition to the settlement payment, LinkedIn will train all employees that “off-the-clock work” is prohibited for all non-exempt workers, those who are not salaried managers, the Labor Department said.

— Reuters

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