California Software Developers: High Tech Equals Low Pay?

- by

Los Angeles, CATo anyone outside the computer industry, determining who should and should not be paid for overtime work may seem like an easy task. However, those in the computer industry, specifically those who work in California, report that companies constantly err when they classify employees as exempt from overtime.

Now, high tech professionals are filing lawsuits against their employers, alleging they were not paid for overtime work when they should have been.

Fed UpComputer software companies rely on employees to work overtime hours, especially when a new product is under development. Often, these workers have tight deadlines and are required to put in 20 hours a week in overtime. Unfortunately, because these workers are misclassified as exempt from overtime pay, they do not receive any compensation for their extra hours.

Think about it. Twenty extra hours a week (and that is not the highest number of overtime hours that workers report) is an extra two and a half days of work, assuming a regular eight-hour workday. Who wants to work an extra two and a half days a week without being paid for it. With that many extra hours, it becomes about more than simply the hours worked: it is about quality of life. That much extra overtime cuts into family time, it cuts into sleep time, it drains a person and means that her or she does not have enough time to rest and recover between workdays. That many extra hours can have a serious impact on a person's health and happiness.

Now, it might be okay to put in those extra hours if the employee has a choice as to whether or not to do it. But what about those employees who have absolutely no say regarding overtime work? Furthermore, what about companies in which overtime is a weekly occurrence rather than a once in a while issue? There are some companies whose management demands, as a rule, that employees work regular overtime. For these people, a 40-hour workweek would seem like a nice break.

Making the situation much, much worse is a change to the exemption law, allowing companies to classify employees who make the equivalent of $36 as exempt from overtime pay. The previous standard was $41, meaning that many more people will now be expected to work overtime without being compensated for it. Imagine being told that although you previously eligible for overtime pay you would no longer be and that all the extra time put in at the office will now mean nothing where your paycheck is concerned.

Computer software professionals are now taking matters into their own hands, demanding that they be paid properly for their hours worked. Many have filed lawsuits and, as more realize that they are now classified as exempt from overtime pay, many more will likely file lawsuits of their own. Computer companies make a lot of money off the overtime work of their employees and they try to save that money by refusing to properly compensate employees for those hours worked.

If you are a software professional and you believe your employer has misclassified you as exempt from overtime pay, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Add Your Comment on This Story

Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Request Legal Help