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Overtime for California Computer Professionals (Unpaid Overtime)

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California employees in the IT and computer software industry, including computer professionals, IT professionals and computer programmers may be entitled to overtime pay. Both federal law and most state laws require overtime pay for such professional employees who work more than 40 hours per week unless the employee is classified as exempt.

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Overtime Pay for California Computer Professionals and High Tech Employees

it programmer unpaid overtimeMany California IT professionals and/or computer programmers are misclassified as exempt, e.g., they don't manage anyone. If an IT professional, computer professional or programmer spends most of their time doing any combination of the following, they are entitled to overtime:
  • Analyzing, troubleshooting, and resolving complex problems with business applications, networking, and hardware.
  • Installing, configuring, or testing new computers, applications, networks or hardware based on user-defined requirements.
  • Creating or troubleshooting network accounts (logins) and other business application user accounts.
It is not uncommon for IT employees to work long hours driven by project deadlines or company policy requiring standards 60-70 hour work weeks. Yet employers at large corporations based in California such as Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, Electronic Arts and IBM, just to name a few, have allegedly denied overtime wages to IT and computer professionals based on misclassification: these individuals are often considered exempt from the overtime requirements.

Recent class-action lawsuits against companies such as the above have been settled on behalf of high-tech employees and computer professionals in software and hardware industries who are entitled to overtime. Still, many employers are currently facing additional overtime lawsuits when they do not pay overtime to their IT employees as required by law.

It would be wise for employers to pay overtime: under the California labor laws pertaining to IT professionals (both in software and hardware industries), employees who work more than 40 hours per week without additional compensation, may receive overtime back pay (up to 4 years) and other related statutory amounts.

California State Labor Law for Computer Professionals: Rate of Pay

California State Labor Laws protect computer employees from unpaid overtime. California Labor Code 515.5 or SB 88 states that employees in the computer software field may be exempt from overtime pay if they meet several requirements. One exempt-status requirement involves pay rate: "The employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than forty-seven dollars and eighty-one cents ($47.81), or the annualized full-time salary equivalent of that rate."

If a California computer software employee earns less than $47.81 per hour or the annual salary equivalent of approximately $99,445, they may qualify for overtime pay.

In order to be exempt in California, effective as of January 1, 2008, a full-time employee must be salaried and earn at least $640 per week, or $33,280. The hourly minimum decreased to $36. Other states have similar laws for computer professionals, though the exempt-requirements and pay rates may differ.


California IT Overtime Legal Help

If you are a current or former employee in the IT, computer or software profession in California and you have worked more than eight hours per day or more than 40 hours per week but have not been paid overtime, you may be entitled to unpaid wages, overtime, interest and related amounts. Click on the link below to submit your overtime complaint.
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COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS OVERTIME LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

IT Overtime and Severance: Confusing the Issue
IT Overtime and Severance: Confusing the Issue
May 1, 2011
Houston, TX Issues surrounding IT overtime are often complicated by whether or not an employee has been classed as exempt. As demanding and complex a job as IT is, determining who is exempt from claiming overtime and who isn't can be just as confusing. Add to that the attempts by some employers to stroke their bottom line by miss-classifying a deserving employee as overtime exempt, and you have a situation fraught with issues and unfairness [READ MORE]

California Judge Approves IT Overtime Lawsuit Settlement
California Judge Approves IT Overtime Lawsuit Settlement
July 26, 2010
San Jose, CA A California judge recently gave his preliminary approval of a $5 million settlement to end an IT overtime lawsuit [READ MORE]

IBM Faces off Against the State of Indiana in New IT Overtime Lawsuit
IBM Faces off Against the State of Indiana in New IT Overtime Lawsuit
May 21, 2010
Indianapolis, IN The state of Indiana and computer support giant IBM are currently embroiled in a contentious IT overtime lawsuit over a terminated outsourcing deal which had intended to allow the company to overhaul and modernize the state's welfare eligibility system [READ MORE]



READER COMMENTS

Posted by
California
on
I was labeled exempt and paid salary under $53K a year for seven years until I got laid off this year for no apparent reason. All the company said was that it was re-constructing its IT Dep. Gave me severance pay as well for being a good employee and the years of service. I was labeled as a Computer Applications Specialist and my pay grade was suppose to be at least $67K to $77K but was not even close. Worked over 40 hours a week at times for the past seven years. Never got paid OT at all, and because I was exempt, I would only put 40 hours a week on my timesheet even though I worked overtime.

Posted by
Vermont
on
No matter how many hours I worked, I got paid at the same flat rate, approx. $44/hour, under the guise that I was a "contractor."

For four years, I put in 90 hours a week, 52 weeks a year without vacation or benefits. Now, I'm being told that I have been classified as an employee of Computer Task Group for the past eight years, and am not a contractor.

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