Why Long Hours Aren’t Being Paid in Computer-Related Jobs
Often required to work long hours, eligible employees in IT departments, computer “help desks” and other computer-related jobs often fall victim to unpaid overtime and wages, violating the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
It’s as simple as misclassification of job title and duties on the part of their employer. And you might be eligible and not even know it.
Are You Owed Unpaid Overtime and Wages?
Due to the “computer employee exemption” outlined in the FLSA, many employers incorrectly assume that computer professionals are automatically exempt from overtime pay.
However, only those computer systems analysts, programmers, software engineers, and other skilled workers in the computer field who meet certain tests regarding their job duties are actually exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA.
To qualify for the “computer employee exemption”, you must be:
- Compensated on either a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than $455 per week, or
- Compensated no less than $27.63 per hour.
If these conditions are not met, then the “computer employee exemption” simply will not apply.
Additionally, the “computer employee exemption” only applies to computer employees whose primary duty consists of:
- The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications;
- The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
- The design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or,
- A combination of these duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.
Your Job Duties Determine What You’re Paid
So, what is a primary duty?
Under the FLSA, the term “primary duty” means the “principal, main, major or most important duty that the employee performs”.
Determining an employee’s primary duty must be based on all the facts in a particular case, with an emphasis on the character of the employee’s job as a whole.
In other words, employers who assume their computer employees fit the FLSA’s “computer employee exemption”, violate the FLSA if they:
- Failed to apply each of the FLSA’s “computer employee exemption” elements to their employees’ job duties taken as a whole, and
- Do not pay those employees minimum wage of overtime
Recover Your Unpaid Overtime and Wages
Don’t let this happen to you!
If you are a computer professional and have questions as to whether you’re entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay under the FLSA, please contact Wenzel, Fenton, Cabassa P.A. today for a free consultation.
We will carefully go through each potentially applicable exemption and help determine whether you may be entitled to recover overtime or minimum wages from your current or former employer.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.