Changes to the Wage Laws for the Computer Employee Exemption
A bill has been introduced in Congress that would change the wage laws and expand the current overtime exemption for employees in computer-related jobs. This could result in more employees in these fields losing overtime pay.
The existing exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to employees who work as computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers or other similarly skilled workers who do systems analysis or design and development of computer systems or programs. Under the current wage laws, most IT tasks do not qualify as exempt. For further information, please see our discussion about Computer IT Tech positions.
The proposed bill expands the job classes covered by the exemption to include “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”. The duties covered by the proposed bill include, “the application of systems, network or database analysis techniques and procedures” and “the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, configuration, integration, debugging, modification of computer or information technology”. In addition, employees who supervise individuals performing these duties would also be exempt under the new wage laws.
IT professionals have expressed concern that these proposed changes to the wage laws would essentially eliminate overtime pay for anyone working in a computer-related position.
If you would like to track this bill and offer your opposition or support, please go to http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1747.
If you currently work in the computer field and believe you are improperly classified as exempt, we would be happy to evaluate your situation. You can call us at 713-782-LAW1 (5291) or 1-866-559-0400 or submit your information using our convenient Case Evaluation Form.