Helping Computer Professionals Get the Wages they Deserve
Pay and job duties determine if a California computer professional is entitled to overtime: the more routine and unvaried the work, the greater the likelihood a high-tech employee is owed overtime.
Exempt employees must fit into one of the three different professional exemptions under California law and the federal statute: the learned professional, the creative professional or the computer professional.
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, “computer professional” exempt employees must mainly perform intellectual or creative work that requires independent judgment in the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of systems, programs, software or hardware. Beginning January 1, 2014, employers will have to pay their computer professionals at least $84,130.53 a year ($7,010.88 monthly) to qualify for the exemption, up from the 2013 rate of $83,132.93.
This is an increase from $38.89 or more an hour ($81,026.25 or more annually, or $6752.19 or more monthly) in 2012.
An exempt employee must spend at least 50 percent of his or her time performing what are considered “exempt” duties to qualify as exempt. The legislation states: “the individual must be highly skilled, with proficiency in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized systems analysis, programming and software engineering.”
Therefore, high-tech employees who are mainly troubleshooting accounts, or installing, testing, or configuring technology products based on given requirements may be eligible for unpaid IT overtime lawsuits.