New Bill Could Eliminate OT for IT Employees
Congressional member, Senator Hagan, recently introduced a bill that would greatly expand the exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act for IT employees, eliminating
overtime benefits for many employees, including network, database and security specialists.
Currently, California law and the FLSA mandates that employees get time-and-a-half (1.5x) overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a week or 8 hours in a workday, unless they qualify under one of the exemptions. Many exemptions exist and the current text related to IT workers exempts “any employee who is a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker,” whose primary duties fall under categories including “systems analysis techniques and procedures,” and “design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs.”
But a bill sponsored by Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), titled the “Computer Professionals Update Act,” takes the exemption’s 131-word text and bumps it up to 205, adding job classes such as database and network specialists and security professionals. The proposed language of the bill would exempt “any employee working in a computer or information technology occupation (including, but not limited to, work related to computers, information systems, components, networks, software, hardware, databases, security, internet, intranet, or websites) as an analyst, programmer, engineer, designer, developer, administrator, or other similarly skilled worker,” with primary duties including “the application of systems, network or database analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine or modify hardware, software, network, database, or system functional specifications.”
The bill would also label all employees listed in the exemption as part of the “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional” class exempt from overtime and minimum wage laws. However, the proposed modification keeps the exemption’s current text limiting affected employees to those who are on salary or make at least $27.63 an hour.
One IT administrator who blogged about the bill commented that “I think that I may have originally underestimated the importance of this bill to us SysAdmins in the United States…see, I was under the impression that we were almost all salaried and exempt—in other words, that overtime wasn’t an option anyway. I’ve been informed by a couple of friends of mine that this isn’t the case at all, and that there are a lot of hourly SysAdmins who get overtime.”
If you are an IT employee who is curious whether you are being paid correctly under California or Federal wage and hour laws, contact Adams Law today.