A bill recently introduced in Congress would greatly expand the exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act for IT employees, ending overtime benefits for many more types of workers, including network, database and security specialists.
Among other things, the FLSA mandates that employees get time-and-a-half overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a week, unless they are executives or specifically exempted from the law’s protection. There are already many exemptions, 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 along the way. The proposed text exempts “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.
An IT administrator who blogged about the bill notes 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.”
According to Govtrack.us, Hagan’s bill was referred to the Committee on Health Education, Labor, and Pensions, on Oct. 20, helpfully noting that “the majority of bills and resolutions never make it out of committee.” But if you want to tell Sen. Kagan what you think about limiting overtime pay for IT pros, a contact form is on the senator’s website.
Hopefully this helps all my ppl working in IT… tell me what you think of this
According to ArsTechnica: