People who work in the computer software field often work long hours. Frequently, their employer pays them a salary when the law demands hourly compensation. Thus, those long hours go uncompensated when the employee should have been earning overtime.
If you work in the computer software field and are paid a salary of less than $75,000 a year, you may be owed overtime if you have worked more than 8 hours a day or more than 40 hours a week. However, if you meet the “computer software professional” exemption, your employer does not have to pay you overtime.
The Legal Test:
Generally, to be exempt, first, you must be primarily engaged in work that is intellectual or creative and that requires the exercise of discretion and independent judgment. Second, you must be paid at least $75,000 per year for full time employment. Third, you must be proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, or software engineering. Finally, you must be primarily engaged in duties that consist of one or more of the following:
- applying systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
- designing, developing, documenting, analyzing, creating, testing, or modifying computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
- documenting, testing, creating, or modifying computer programs related to the design of software or hardware for computer operating systems.
You are likely owed overtime if:
- You are an employee in a computer-related occupation but have not attained the level of skill and expertise necessary to work independently and without close supervision,
- You are simply engaged in the operation of computers or in the manufacture, repair, or maintenance of computer hardware and related equipment,
- You are simply a trainee or employee in an entry-level position who is learning to become proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering,
- You are an engineer, drafter, machinist, or other professional whose work is highly dependent upon or facilitated by the use of computers and computer software programs and who is skilled in computer-aided design software, including CAD/CAM, but who is not engaged in computer systems analysis, programming, or any other similarly skilled computer-related occupation.
- You are a writer engaged in writing material, including box labels, product descriptions, documentation, promotional material, setup and installation instructions, and other similar written information, either for print or for onscreen media or who writes or provides content material intended to be read by customers, subscribers, or visitors to computer-related media such as the World Wide Web or CD-ROMs.
If you work in the computer software field and think you should be paid hourly, contact us immediately.