California Overtime: Computer IT Tech
Information technology workers, often known as computer IT techs, have an extremely demanding job, working notoriously long hours, fielding emergency calls at anytime of the day and night, and performing major updates often on weekends. The title “computer IT tech” can cover a wide range of technologies and job functions, and what a lot of major companies are realizing now is that vast majority of IT workers should earn overtime even when paid on a salary basis.
- It is a common mistake for employers to classify IT workers as exempt from overtime.
- IT Engineers, Analyst, and Administrators who are salaried can still be eligible to receive overtime.
- Job duties, not job title are the most important factor in determining eligibility for overtime.
- Common FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) exemptions employers use to define computer IT techs as exempt employees are the administrative exemption and computer employee exemption.
- State overtime laws differ significantly with many states having overtime laws that are more stringent than the FLSA overtime standards.
- Most IT tasks do not qualify as exempt.
- Class action lawsuits concerning misclassification of IT techs as exempt are becoming commonplace all over the country.
The most important factor in determining whether a person is eligible for overtime pay is not in the job title, but the job description. Under the FLSA FairPay Overtime Rules, exemptions include administrative, computer professional, learned professional, and executive. Under California state law, in order to qualify for these exemptions, one must examine the amount of time spent by the employee performing executive, administrative, and professional type duties. The most common exemptions employers use for computer IT tech are the computer employee exemption and the administrative exemption, although most computer technology tasks do not qualify as exempt.
The computer professional exemption is for computer programmers and those with specialized knowledge in computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering,. However, just because a person is given a certain job title such as “engineer”, “specialist”, or “architect”, does not necessarily mean they satisfy the duties necessary to be exempt from the overtime law requirements.
The administrative exemption is the most common exemption used by employers. In order to qualify for this exemption, the employee’s primary job duties must involve running the business and using judgment and discretion concerning matters of substantial importance to the company. Their work must typically not be susceptible to close supervision, routine, or repetition of established procedures and involve the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the managerial operations of the employer and customers.
Premera Blue Cross IT Workers File National Overtime Lawsuit (April, 2010)
A class action suit was filed in Washington against Premera Blue Cross alleging that the company commonly misclassified its technical support workers as exempt and failing to pay them for overtime hours worked and were in violation of state and federal overtime laws. Premera employs hundreds of IT workers nationwide who were required to work long days, nights, and weekends order to keep Premera’s technological infrastructure up and running. According to one plaintiff, they were required to work through meal breaks and “sacrifice our time and health for the company.”
Premera’s technical support workers are responsible for installing, maintaining, and/or supporting computer software and hardware. The plaintiffs’ are made up of a large group of IT workers with various job titles such as: System Administrator, System Engineer, IT Analyst, Database Administrator, Software Test Engineer, EDI Specialist, Information Security Administrator, Network Administrator, and Network Specialist among others.
If you are a computer IT tech who is not receiving overtime pay, it is very important that you take a close look at your job duties, as you may very well be eligible to receive overtime for any hours worked over a 40 hour workweek (or in some states such as California with daily overtime, for hours over 8 per day) at 1.5 times your regular rate of pay. If you think you have been misclassified contact an experienced overtime attorney like one of the Lore Law Firm wage and overtime attorneys simply by completing our Case Evaluation Form. Get the help you need today to see if you have a good case that will enable you to receive the overtime pay you have earned.