Computer and IT Overtime

In many businesses today, the computer professionals and Information Technology (IT) workers are the backbone of the system. Many IT workers think they are exempt from overtime pay because they think they fall under the Computer Professional Exemption. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) exempts certain professions, such as computer programmers and architects, from overtime pay. However, if your job title is that of a IT Specialist, Network Engineer, Database Administrator, Network Operator, Web Administrator, or something similar, it is likely that you are eligible for overtime pay.

If the majority of your work involves computer system and software application installation, troubleshooting problems arising in networking or hardware, or creating user accounts, then it is very likely you do not fall under the Computer Professional Exemption.

Overtime pay is awarded when an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek. The overtime rate is 1.5 of their normal hourly rate. If you receive salary, then your salary is converted to hourly for the purposes of deciding on your overtime pay rate.

There are many requirements your job description must satisfy in order to be exempt from overtime. Oftentimes, supervisors are also eligible for overtime pay because most of their job still involves IT work. Generally, IT and computer workers do not meet all requirements to fall under Executive Exemption, which means you have the ability to hire and fire employees, or that you supervise an entire department.

It is possible that you are a misclassified worker if you work in IT, and that you are owed overtime back pay. Many IT workers frequently exceed the 40 hour working week in order to finish projects in a timely manner. Working from home and on weekends makes it especially easy for IT workers to put in much more than 40 hours at their jobs.

The overtime law firm of Dunham & Jones represents clients who are seeking overtime back pay from their employers. If you believe you have not received your just wages, make an appointment with overtime firm of Dunham & Jones to review your overtime wage case.

Call 1-800-499-8455 or Complete the form below

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What is the Computer Professional Exemption?

To qualify under the computer employee exemption, there are several tests that must be passed. Exemption is not based on one factor alone.

  • A computer employee’s pay needs to be at least $455 a week, or $27.63 an hour.
  • Employment must be under a title such as computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or something similar.
  • A computer employee’s main duties must be related to application of systems analysis techniques and procedures; design, documentation, creation, testing, analysis or alteration of computer systems and programs; design, documentation, creation, testing, analysis or modification to computer programs relating to operating systems.

Manual work on computer machines does not count toward exemption. Even if your job is dependent on computers or computer software programs, but your job is not directly related to the operation or programming or analysis of computer systems, are not exempt.

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I am a System Administrator, and my employer told me this falls under the Computer Professional Exemption. How does exemption affect my paycheck?

The Computer Professional Exemption applies to workers who spend a majority of their job working independently of a supervisor or supervising other employees, creatively designing programming or writing code, or addressing new problems. You would not fall under the Computer Professional Exemption if you spent most of your time troubleshooting or working under close supervision of a supervisor. Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay, so if you work more than 40 hours a week, you are not eligible for time-and-a-half of every additional hour over 40 hours. This can add up substantially when you work long hours on extensive projects, or even if you just work a couple of hours from home on weekends or after work. Misclassification can quickly add up to thousands of dollars of unpaid overtime.

For example, if you receive an hourly rate of $25 and worked 45 hours last week, then your overtime pay rate is $37.50 an hour. In one week you will have lost $187.50 in overtime wages. In a month, you should have been paid $750 in overtime and over a year, you should have been paid $9,000 in overtime wages.

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Are all computer and IT workers protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act?

The Computer Professional Exemption is applied to a small number of workers who work in IT. If your main job duties include tasks such as data-entry, preparing flow charts for computer operations, making operator instructions, fixing computer (this includes debugging and troubleshooting), or helping customers troubleshoot, then you are likely not exempt and can receive overtime pay.

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