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US Senator Proposes Bill To Eliminate Overtime For IT Workers 1167

Posted by Soulskill
from the us-senator-also-can't-seem-to-get-her-email-anymore dept.
New submitter Talisman writes "Kay Hagan (D) from North Carolina has introduced a bill to the Senate that would eliminate overtime pay for IT workers." The bill is targeted at salaried IT employees and those whose hourly rate is $27.63 or more. It seems comprehensive in its description of what types of IT work qualify — everything from analysis and consulting to design and development to training and testing. The bill even uses "work related to computers" as one of the guidelines.
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US Senator Proposes Bill To Eliminate Overtime For IT Workers

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  • by Anarke_Incarnate (733529) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:32AM (#38236776)

    And if this idjit is still there, I know I am voting THEM out. What a maroon.

    • by JustNiz (692889) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:36AM (#38236816)

      3 of the 4 co-sponsors for the bill are republican:

      Michael Bennet [D-CO]
      Scott Brown [R-MA]
      Michael Enzi [R-WY]
      John Isakson [R-GA]

      • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:56AM (#38237178) Homepage
        Also it is currently in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee so if one of the following is your senator you might want to contact them to have it killed:

        Tom Harkin (D-IA)
        Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)
        Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
        Patty Murray (D-WA)
        Bernard Sanders (I) (I-VT)
        Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
        Kay R. Hagan (D-NC)
        Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
        Al Franken (D-MN)
        Michael F. Bennet (D-CO)
        Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
        Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
        Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
        Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
        Richard Burr (R-NC)
        Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
        Rand Paul (R-KY)
        Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
        John McCain (R-AZ)
        Pat Roberts (R-KS)
        Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
        Mark Kirk (R-IL)
        • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:17PM (#38238516) Homepage Journal

          Can't help but notice how nobody from California, the most populous and technology influential state - where making $27/hr is actually a poverty pay rate, considering the cost of living.

          I'd really like to know why government believes it needs to stick its nose into this industry - it should be working diligently to remove lobbyists from DC.

      • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:58AM (#38237204) Journal
        There are 5 senators, roughly half are Republican and half are Democrat. All are retarded.
        • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:35AM (#38237818)
          Don't you love it when a bill has bi partisan support. How else would we get fantastic bills like this one, the patriot act, and SOPA?
          • by greenbird (859670) on Friday December 02, 2011 @01:33PM (#38239836)

            Don't you love it when a bill has bi partisan support. How else would we get fantastic bills like this one, the patriot act, and SOPA?

            When is everyone gonna wake up to the fact that there are no parties anymore. Elephant or Donkey is irrelevant. The only thing that influences our government representatives, Republican or Democrat, is who happens to be paying them the best on a given issue.

            I keep thinking of a scene from the movie Moon Over Parador [imdb.com]. 2 guys are discussing who they're going to vote for where the choices are blue or red. One says, "Vote for whoever you want. It's a free dictatorship." The government of the United States no longer represents the people. It represents the corporate interests that pay them the best. The constitution has been trampled so bad it's pretty much immaterial at this point. The fact that a blatant censorship bill like SOPA/PROTECT IP can even be considered is proof of that.

          • by Danny Rathjens (8471) <slashdot2NO@SPAMrathjens.org> on Friday December 02, 2011 @01:45PM (#38240034)
            "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." -- George Carlin
      • by Thud457 (234763) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:03AM (#38237312) Homepage Journal

        IT workers propose bill requiring citizen referendum on any congressional pay raises

        • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:23PM (#38238640)

          IT workers propose bill requiring citizen referendum on any congressional pay raises

          Better still, propose a bill requiring members of congress to serve 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, with full accountability of their whereabouts and activities during those periods.

        • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:40PM (#38238980) Homepage Journal

          Every elected official should be paid exactly the median income of their constituents. Then to get more pay they have to raise their constituents' incomes first.

          Plus any elected official should be paid to retire instead of running for reelection. Whatever they'd be paid for the term if they won, like 2 years for a House rep or 4 years for a governor, they'd get paid all at once to retire instead.

      • by Petron (1771156) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:19AM (#38237562)
        Sponsoring a build doesn't always mean you support it.

        Harry Reid (D) sponsored President Obama's Job bill [govtrack.us] in the Senate, then voted AGAINST it.

        This is done to bring the bill up to a vote, so it can be voted down.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @01:44PM (#38240020)

          This is the result of Senate rules. As Senate Majority Leader, Reid has to vote against a bill that is going to fail if he wants to reserve the right to bring it back one day for another vote. He has to constantly vote against bills that he supports.

    • by show me altoids (1183399) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:42AM (#38236912)
      Now, does this mean that a company CAN'T pay them overtime or that they're NOT REQUIRED to pay them overtime? There's a big difference.
      • by jeff4747 (256583) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:44AM (#38236954)

        No, there is only a semantic difference.

        If they're not required to pay overtime, none will pay overtime.

        • by operagost (62405) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:53AM (#38237096) Homepage Journal
          I'm not sure I get this logic; if that were true, then we could also expect that companies could pay IT workers only minimum wage and still have takers. Overtime compensation is part of the negotiation process.
          • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:56AM (#38237180)

            Most individuals suck at negotiating. This is a large part of the reason Unions were born in the first place.

            • by csnydermvpsoft (596111) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:38AM (#38237868) Homepage

              Most individuals suck at negotiating. This is a large part of the reason Unions were born in the first place.

              It's not so much that most individuals suck at negotiating (which may be true), but that corporations usually have much more leverage. A corporation can say, "well, we have 100 other applicants, so we'll find someone who is more desperate than you," while the individual could be facing homelessness if they don't find a job within the next few months. You'd have to be an extraordinary negotiator to get a good deal in that situation.

            • by hedwards (940851) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:39AM (#38237880)

              It's not necessarily that they suck at it; it's that there's a much larger number of job seekers that the employers can play off each other. Plus they can refuse to raise their offers knowing that none of their competitors wants to do so either.

              These days things are getting to be more like they were prior to unionization. They aren't as bad, there are still workplace rights that unions fought for, but there's always a lot of GOP pressure to undo as many workplace rights as possible.

            • by shaitand (626655) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:51AM (#38238078) Journal

              Yes and individuals who aren't already in exempt positions (all high level IT positions are exempt already) don't really have much leverage for negotiation on an individual basis. Low level positions are on the wrong side of the many-to-one ratio with there many employees/applicants and only one employer. One-to-one, all else being equal, you have equivalent leverage. The minute there are two positions the employers leverage doubles while the employees/applicants leverage stays the same.

              Unions help to restore the balance by consolidating the employees in order to bring it back to one-to-one.

        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:00AM (#38237242) Homepage Journal

          Well, it isn't just a semantic difference if there's a contract involved, and the contract stipulates time and a half for overtime. Would it invalidate the contract?

          Oh, and BTW, you guys need to unionize (I'm out of the fight, I retire in 2 years). And a thought just occurred to me -- if I were required to work overtime at my normal rate, I'd just refuse to work overtime. Fuck 'em.

          The God Damned 1% and their congressional stooges are still trying to remove the American workers' rights that have been fought for, and in many cases died for them [wikipedia.org].

          Too bad assassination is immoral and illegal. But despite the fact that it is, these greedy Godless bastards had damned well better watch their backs. If they don't loosen up, there's going to be violence (see the link for a short history).

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:02AM (#38237280) Journal
          No company is required (by law) to pay more than minimum wage yet, oddly enough, many do.
      • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:52AM (#38237084) Homepage
        Technically it means that they are no longer required to pay overtime, but realistically how many employers in a down economy where there is a surplus of workers will do more than they are required to.
      • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:54AM (#38238120) Homepage Journal

        Now, does this mean that a company CAN'T pay them overtime or that they're NOT REQUIRED to pay them overtime? There's a big difference.

        It's not even that. It's just clarifying that IT workers that make at least $27.63 an hour are explicitly defined as "exempt" under FLSA instead of "non-exempt". If you're a non-exempt employee, FLSA requires your employer to pay you time-and-a-half overtime whenever you work more than 40 hours in a work week. Often exempt employees are paid their regular rate as overtime, sometimes if you're salaried you don't get any.

        This really just codifies the way employers have been classifying IT workers anyway, and avoids a lot of court cases.

    • Nothing new here (Score:5, Informative)

      by yog (19073) * on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:58AM (#38237206) Homepage Journal
      Relax, it's just a minor amendment of an existing amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Here's [umaryland.edu] a good explanation of the history of this amendment.

      In 1990, Congress adopted free-standing legislation directing DOL to promulgate regulations defining the status of computer services workers and to include in that definition an earnings test: not less than 6½ times the federal minimum wage. Although DOL proceeded as directed, Congress revisited the issue in 1996. It moved the computer services exemption from Section 13(a)(1), creating a new categorical exemption in Section 13(a)(17). Here, unburdened by the issue of defining professional, Congress set its own standard. It also froze the earnings test at $27.63 per hour. With the increase in the general wage floor, part of the 1996 amendments, that came to equal 5.4 times the minimum wage.

      As you can see, the hourly rate and the type of worker involved has not changed at all. It appears that they're merely clarifying the definition of a computer services professional.

      Personally (and I know this is going to earn me a few "troll" points from our faithful moderators), I am against mandating things like time-and-a-half and double-time pay. Although it sounds like a good deal for hourly workers, in fact it probably discourages employers from paying people more. They'll just get a part timer to come in and do the extra work, or offshore it, or some such.

      I'm in IT and when I'm hourly, I love to work 50-60 hours a week. I don't give a damn about all these overtime rules; I just want to make more money. But since around 2001, companies have been much more reluctant to let people bill more than 40 hours a week unless the top management grants special permission to get some project done or some such.

      Frankly I wish the government would just stay out of these matters and let the free market decide what's a fair wage, what's fair hours, etc., but maybe I'm naive :)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:16AM (#38237532)

        I'd say you're naive. The "free market" (i.e. heavily tilted in favor of large companies) would settle on a wage that isn't quite enough to pay your rent and groceries, much less Internet access. How does a schedule of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week sound? That's what the "free market" used to offer, back before employment law came into being.

        It was great for the owners of large companies, but it sucked for the 99%.

      • by nahdude812 (88157) * on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:40AM (#38237908) Homepage

        Particularly in IT, you can't just bring in part timers to bridge the gap when you need more work done than your current staff can accomplish in 40 hours. Sometimes it takes a month or more to bring a new guy up to speed.

        The reason they have mandatory time and a half rules is because typically the lower you are on the hourly wage scale, the more badly you need the job, and the easier you are to replace. Without this, companies would just demand 80 hours or more from their employees rather than hiring new employees. Each employee has a fixed cost, so one person doing 80 hours work is a higher profit than two employees each doing 40 hours work at the same salary. If you don't agree to that work schedule, they'll replace you, and soon all jobs in your skill range require this.

        The point is to incentivize employers to maintain a reasonable work/life balance for their employees, while not totally crippling them when there's a short term work load glut. Time and a half over 40 hours strikes me as a particularly good balance. Many hourly workers are happy to have the bonus pay at that rate, while employers are typically willing to pay it since this work glut represents unusual profitability on their part. If you're consistently paying 20 hours of overtime, then you probably should increase the size of your work force.

        Unfortunately most IT jobs are already overtime exempt. At first I misread the title and though, "About time they made non-IT managers eligible for overtime!" What I mentioned above about unreasonable work schedules is pretty true in many corners of the industry. If you're a software tester or software engineer, chances are you have felt pressured to donate time to the company on a regular basis. Each extra hour they can squeeze out of you just increases their ROI on your salary, so they're incentivized to find the highest number of hours they can convince their workforce to commit. In many shops, you'll be consistently found to be under-producing if you go home before 10 or 12 hours, and you may be let go as a result.

      • by PortHaven (242123) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:47AM (#38238020) Homepage

        I agree to some degree...

        I believe that the time and half vs exempt employees has created a caste of worker who is now forced to work for free. IT, salaried, then gets stuck working 50-60 hours or more.

        Let's say an IT worker is salaried at $100,000 ($48/hr) for a 40 hour work week. But more often than not said IT worker is working 60 hours a week. They lost the other network engineer and the economy is too challenging to hire a replacement. Said IT worker's true salary is actually only $66,666. Or about 2/3 of their reported salary.

        Even at 50 hours, it's an equiv to $38/hr, or $80K.

        Meanwhile, the non-salaried worker with overtime who works 50 hours a week. Will earn $80K on a mere $28/hr pay rate. And a $100K on a mere $35/hr rate.

    • Good luck! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:08AM (#38237374) Homepage

      Yeah, good luck to them getting anyone one to work on Senator's computers ever again. Email, internet, and computers frequently have problems. Nobody has to crash them... we just don't have to fix them once they do. A day without IT can be a real bitch, just like some Senators.

      "Ah, gee, Senator. My shift ended at 5pm and I don't do overtime. Call back tomorrow between 8 and 5pm."

  • by EW87 (951411) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:32AM (#38236790) Journal
    to be kidding me. Let's see if we can get a vote up to lower THEIR pay.
  • Hurray.. ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RenHoek (101570) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:34AM (#38236798) Homepage

    Hurray, no more working late!

    Wait.. they still expect people to work without being compensated for their late hours?

    Did EA send out lobbyists again with briefcases full of money?

    • Re:Hurray.. ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:40AM (#38236866) Journal
      Of course not! It would be illegal to force people to work without pay.

      Now, I think we all understand that, if hard choices have to be made, everybody likes a team player, yes?
    • Re:Hurray.. ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by timeOday (582209) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:06AM (#38237344)
      Since the article is so terse, I figured there must be more to the story and found this better writeup [opposingviews.com]. And even the pro-industry [lexology.com] side.

      Guess what? There is nothing more to the story. It's exactly what it sounds like: a money grab.

  • Why IT workers? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:36AM (#38236824) Journal

    IT work already has a terrible education:pay ratio and the pay is nothing special in relative terms, that's a strange sector to target...could it have something to do with outsourcing?

    • Re:Why IT workers? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:51AM (#38237056) Journal
      Unless the wording of the amendment is a hell of a lot narrower through the eyes of somebody who has been to law school, it would appear that it could be stretched to include basically everyone who doesn't turn a funny color when the phrase "pivot table" is used. The heaviest fire is reserved for IT minions; but, given the computerization of contemporary businesses, virtually anybody who earns enough to be mentioned in the amendment and operates a turing-complete system more sophisticated than the coffee machine would potentially be included...
  • Good (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:37AM (#38236834)

    That means I get to go home at six, right?

  • Simple solution... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhunachchicken (834243) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:38AM (#38236838) Homepage

    8 hours work for 8 hours pay.

    Don't work for free, people. After all, you're just an employee to them, not a BFF.

    I recently saw a guy who had worked at my current place of work get given the shove after nearly 20 years. Escorted him out of the building and everything. He sat in the pub blubbing like a baby and asking how they could be so cruel after everything he'd given them.

    I've vowed never to work a minute past what I'm contracted to do, and if I have to I simply come in late the next day.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:43AM (#38236938)

      Amen brother.

      I only take hourly paying jobs now. That salary shit wont fly with me.

      I tried it once and it was the worst mistake I ever made.

      Went from a 60k/yr hourly contract to a 48K salary position with supposedly similar pay in the form of A+ benefits like a 0% copay medical (yes zero) and free legal care and the list goes on.

      I went from working 40hrs and getting regular overtime easily bringing 2400 after taxes every two weeks, to working 50-60 hour weeks with absolutely no recognition for $1450 twice a month.

      The job lasted 4 months before I got the hell out of there back into a 70K hourly contract. FUCK THAT.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:44AM (#38236948)

      Yeah, I used to be a nut case, working 12 and 15 hour days for weeks on end... then I realized that morons who were producing shitty code and working 6 hour days + 2 hour lunches were getting the same promotions and pay increases I was, so that was a ME problem, not a THEM problem. ME is easier to fix than THEM.

      8 hours work, 8 hours pay, pure and simple. Don't kill yourself over your job. If you love coding, join an open source project and contribute freely to the world, not your employer's pocket -- he/she probably doesn't care that you're working 12 hours -- you're being used.

    • by unity100 (970058) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:50AM (#38237046) Homepage Journal
      so if its some brand we have dealings with, we can avoid the whores ( i apologize from all sex sector workers) like the plague in our dealings.
    • by Thangodin (177516) <elentar@sympatico.STRAWca minus berry> on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:56AM (#38237170) Homepage

      And Amen again. I worked at a high profile startup that went defect back during the dot.com days, working 60 to 100 hour weeks. I never got a penny of the back pay they owed me, and the guy who worked most of those hours with me died three years later from congestive heart failure caused by stress (he had an otherwise healthy lifestyle). So this isn't just about the quality of your life; it could mean the difference between life and death.

  • by DigiJunkie (448588) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:39AM (#38236854)

    ... and their site is down. If only they had some IT guys who could do overtime to bring it back up...

    Prk

  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:40AM (#38236870) Homepage
    ... if it got rid of congressional pay and prevented IT workers from having to work more than 40 hours.
  • This is madness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lc_overlord (563906) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:40AM (#38236872) Homepage

    $27.63 seems oddly specific
    But with the amount of overtime pay in the IT community someone will pretty soon realize that unless people actually sometime work overtime to fix problems it won't be long before people start cutting up old tires to make body armour.

  • by neowolf (173735) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:40AM (#38236876)
    That's like a fantasy for most of us.
    • by That_Dan_Guy (589967) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:54AM (#38237124)

      That's the law. Seriously, it is the law. Passed in 2003 amazingly enough.

      The Califronia gov't description is the most clear. There is a Federal one too that is more difficult to read through but spells it out: IT workers get Overtime. Period.
      http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_overtime.htm [ca.gov]

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Last_Available_Usern (756093) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:41AM (#38236900)
    I've read the bill's text but I haven't ascertained any rationale for it. Clearly they think there is some cost savings to be realized, but where? All that will really happen is the skilled workers will get salaries/wages to offset the loss of overtime, leaving the less skilled and fresh grads with the less desirable pay/positions. The net result is less people will want to get into IT due to this new barrier to entry.
  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:43AM (#38236924)
    ...this is still surprising to see this coming from someone with a D after their name. This is not because they are fundamentally more decent, but their usual constituency doesn't really seem to buy the "blame the middle class" argument, at least not as much. This seems like a really, really dumb idea, if for no other reason than the political fallout it will create.
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:18AM (#38237550)

      ...this is still surprising to see this coming from someone with a D after their name. This is not because they are fundamentally more decent, but their usual constituency doesn't really seem to buy the "blame the middle class" argument, at least not as much. This seems like a really, really dumb idea, if for no other reason than the political fallout it will create.

      Don't know about this one, but several Democrats are indistinguishable from Republicans - other than the 'D' after their name.

  • by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:44AM (#38236944) Homepage Journal

    Aren't most IT workers exempt anyway? (Not that I think they necessarily should be, but still.)

  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:45AM (#38236966) Homepage
    The bill is short so below is the full text from thomas.loc.gov [loc.gov]. For a congressional bill it is surprisingly readable.


    To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to modify provisions relating to the exemption for computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, or other similarly skilled workers.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Computer Professionals Update Act' or the `CPU Act'.

    SEC. 2. AMENDMENT TO THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OF 1938.

    Section 13(a)(17) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 213(a)(17)) is amended to read as follows:

    `(17) 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, whose primary duty is--

    `(A) 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;

    `(B) the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, configuration, integration, debugging, modification of computer or information technology, or enabling continuity of systems and applications;

    `(C) directing the work of individuals performing duties described in subparagraph (A) or (B), including training such individuals or leading teams performing such duties; or

    `(D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), the performance of which requires the same level of skill;

    who is compensated at an hourly rate of not less than $27.63 an hour or who is paid on a salary basis at a salary level as set forth by the Department of Labor in part 541 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations. An employee described in this paragraph shall be considered an employee in a professional capacity pursuant to paragraph (1).'.
    • by Citoahc (565108) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:02AM (#38237282) Homepage

      It is worth comparing this to the current law since there isn't much being changed. This doesn't prevent Overtime Pay just the requirement that Overtime be paid at the x1.5 rate, but I am sure there are more details involved. Looking at the changes breifly I don't think this will have any impact on most of us, but they did remove the section for middle managers.

      ---The current Law---
      (17)
      any employee who is a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker, whose primary duty is—
      (A)
      the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
      (B)
      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;
      (C)
      the design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
      (D)
      a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and
      (C)
      the performance of which requires the same level of skills, and

      who, in the case of an employee who is compensated on an hourly basis, is compensated at a rate of not less than $27.63 an hour.

  • by Truekaiser (724672) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:46AM (#38236986)

    I am going to take a page out of the great depression. the Kellogg cereal company during the great depression lowered the max hours one of their workers could work from 40 to 30 or so. while the people who were working at first did not like the lowering of their income they did like the effects it had on the city around the plant. kellogg to fill the gap hired more workers who in turn only worked the shorter amount of time, but it helped prop up the rest of the city. costs of food and the like there went down and even though the average income went down the people there including the people who had their hours cut ended up liking it. especially the increased time with their family. if they eliminate overtime and the position had scheduled overtime before they should then fill the gap by hiring someone else.

  • by Sqr(twg) (2126054) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:48AM (#38237010)

    Since I'm not from the U.S. I might have misunderstood something here, but does the U.S. senate really have the authority to change in employment contracts for the worse?

    Where I live, the government can enforce things like minimum wages, but if my contract includes overtime pay, then the only way it can disappear is if my employer and I renegotiate the contract.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:50AM (#38237030) Homepage

    His theory of capitalism was, in a nutshell, that an employer's goal was to increase profit by increasing the amount they could make their workers work without paying them anything extra. Which is, of course, exactly what is being codified in this law.

    Consider some widget that cost $300 to make $250 in materials and $50 for 1 worker to work 6 hours on it. But our capitalist wants to make more money, so he makes his worker work 12 hours instead of 6 (which the worker accepts, because being unemployed is so much worse), so now he has $600 worth of widgets, which are now $500 in materials, $50 in labor, and $50 in profit.

    Regardless of what you think about communism, Marx's theories of capitalism need to be taken seriously, because the guy was predicting, in the 1870's, a lot of the economic behavior we see today.

  • by jdpars (1480913) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:52AM (#38237078)
    I hate how Congress thinks it can legislate anything it wants, and whatever it can't legislate in can hold a "hearing" on and then impose some ridiculous punishment. Interstate commerce. It's not meant to be a gateway for doing whatever the hell you want, it's supposed to be highly restrictive and limiting.
  • So....what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dpaton.net (199423) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:53AM (#38237104) Homepage Journal

    How is this different than the plight of software engineers, hardware engineers, or designers that work outside of the IT industry? How is it different than the legions of R&D folks that are listed as exempt employees?

    I'm not saying it should happen. Far from it. But the real battle is that technical professions all over have been moved to exempt status and their employees continue to be forced to work exceedingly long days for 8 hours of pay. It's not the IT guidelines that need reform, it's the ones for all technical professions.

  • by Divide By Zero (70303) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:57AM (#38237202)
    This isn't entirely new. They're basically expanding "Computer systems analyst, programmer, software engineer" to "anyone working in a computer or IT related occupation". Analysts, designers, coders, testers of software were out before. Looks like they're expanding it to DBAs, IT managers, sysadmins and other IT gigs. IANALegislator, so your read is as good as mine, or better. Presented below for your reference:

    CURRENT LAW:
    (17) any employee who is a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker, whose primary duty is—
    (A) the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
    (B) 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;
    (C) the design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
    (D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) the performance of which requires the same level of skills, and who, in the case of an employee who is compensated on an hourly basis, is compensated at a rate of not less than $27.63 an hour.

    NEW BILL:
    (17) 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, whose primary duty is--
    ‘(A) 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;
    ‘(B) the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, configuration, integration, debugging, modification of computer or information technology, or enabling continuity of systems and applications;
    ‘(C) directing the work of individuals performing duties described in subparagraph (A) or (B), including training such individuals or leading teams performing such duties; or
    ‘(D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), the performance of which requires the same level of skill;
    who is compensated at an hourly rate of not less than $27.63 an hour or who is paid on a salary basis at a salary level as set forth by the Department of Labor in part 541 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations. An employee described in this paragraph shall be considered an employee in a professional capacity pursuant to paragraph (1).’.

  • Read the bill (Score:5, Informative)

    by operagost (62405) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:05AM (#38237336) Homepage Journal
    Guys, IT workers are generally already exempted from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. If you currently get overtime, it may because you have a great employer or because your state requires it. The law already reads like this:

    (17) any employee who is a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker, whose primary duty is--
    (A) the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
    (B) 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;
    (C) the design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
    (D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) the performance of which requires the same level of skills, and
    who, in the case of an employee who is compensated on an hourly basis, is compensated at a rate of not less than $27.63 an hour.

    They want to change it to this:

    (17) 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, whose primary duty is--

    (A) 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;

    (B) the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, configuration, integration, debugging, modification of computer or information technology, or enabling continuity of systems and applications;

    (C) directing the work of individuals performing duties described in subparagraph (A) or (B), including training such individuals or leading teams performing such duties; or

    (D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), the performance of which requires the same level of skill;

    who is compensated at an hourly rate of not less than $27.63 an hour or who is paid on a salary basis at a salary level as set forth by the Department of Labor in part 541 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations. An employee described in this paragraph shall be considered an employee in a professional capacity pursuant to paragraph (1)

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