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Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:32 PM

Senate bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act would eliminate overtime pay for many IT workers.

I saw this topic mentioned briefly here a while ago. Seeing this blog today reminded me I wanted to keep this topic in front of people whenever possible.

I'm married to an IT professional who's been 'in the business' for over 30 years. For most of that time he worked for a single employer. Much like the blog author, before around 2001 he used to get overtime, on-call pay, travel pay, meals reimbursement, etc. No luxury, that; for someone who frequently worked 60-80 hour weeks at multiple sites it was one of the reasons to put up with the demands of the job.

After 2001 he was promoted to 'exempt' which 'exempted' him from those benefits without changing his position or duties.

Since that time, he has been laid off twice and after finally finding new positions after each layoff, each one not only continued the 'exempt' practice but also each one offered lower pay.

So here we are, a few years away from retirement, and my highly knowledgeable IT Security and Networks Pro is making, maybe, 2/3 of his 2001 salary AND he's lost all hope of any OT or extra-duty pay while he's still required to work 60-80 hour weeks that include weekends. And let us not forget, folks, that all during that same timeframe, premiums for healthcare coverage have increased at ridiculous percentages every year until we are now paying 3 times the 2001 amount for health coverage.

In summary: Corporate policies have decimated reasonable pay practices and inflated healthcare costs to the extent that our income has continuously decreased over what should have been the prime increasing earnings years of a professional level career.

Now, as if corporations aren't already doing it on their own, this bill intends to make such practices an across-the-board law against reasonable pay practices for IT professionals. Add this to the ever-increasing H1B visa employees brought here to do this work for much less pay (because of claims that there aren't enough skilled US workers) and you will see that there is an agenda to gut the US IT industry in favor of the standard pay and practices of places like China and India.

Again: It's not just blue collar and state government jobs they're going after -- it's EVERYONE! Please help spread awareness about this bill with any of your contacts in IT --hell, with anyone! Because it appears that no worker in the US is ever to feel safe again. So be VERY CAREFUL about those college loans you may be taking, thinking you'll be paying them off with any high paying job!

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Senate Bill Has IT Pro Overtime Pay in Crosshairs
By Julio Urquidi February 27, 2012 10:20 AM

snip-
...Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) in North Carolina is sponsoring SB1747, a bill called the “Computer Professionals Update” (or “CPU Act”, for short). It amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 by increasing the IT workers “exempt” pool, thus eliminating overtime for a larger group of IT workers. The following section defines which of these added IT positions are:

“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).’.


Basically, this means that DBA’s, software developers, system administrators, etc., pretty much everyone related to hands-on IT, would not be eligible for overtime at a Federal level if they make more than $27.64 an hour.

According to the Library of Congress’ Thomas website the CPU Act was introduced in October of 2011, yet if you ask around, not many know about the bill’s impact or existence. Currently, the bill is at the “Referred to Committee” stage of the legislative process and is in the hands of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, which includes Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Al Franken (D-MN) and Kay Hagan(D-NC). Of course, members of this committee are also backed by contributors like Bank of America, AT&T Inc, Blue Cross and Citigroup so it’s pretty easy to figure out why some member of the committee could be influenced to support the Computer Professionals Update.

Link:
http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/it-careers-sb1747-kay-hagan-cpu-act-computer-professionals-update,1-103.html


21 replies, 2356 views

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Reply Senate bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act would eliminate overtime pay for many IT workers. (Original post)
cyberpj Feb 2012 OP
Initech Feb 2012 #1
socialindependocrat Feb 2012 #2
cyberpj Feb 2012 #6
flexnor Feb 2012 #11
anti-alec Feb 2012 #3
tridim Feb 2012 #4
cyberpj Feb 2012 #5
anti-alec Feb 2012 #16
msongs Feb 2012 #7
cyberpj Feb 2012 #8
flexnor Feb 2012 #10
flexnor Feb 2012 #9
jeff47 Feb 2012 #12
cyberpj Feb 2012 #13
flexnor Feb 2012 #15
flexnor Feb 2012 #14
cyberpj Feb 2012 #17
Starry Messenger Feb 2012 #18
belcffub Feb 2012 #19
TheKentuckian Feb 2012 #20
belcffub Mar 2012 #21

Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:45 PM

1. The government is just taking a massive dump on the IT industry anymore. First SOPA/PIPA, now this.

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Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:22 PM

2. IT people worth more - Continuing the 30 year wage war.

Where else do you have someone who works 60 hours a week and then goes home and continues to improve their skills which is a benefit to the employer?

How many times have you been stuck and had to call your IT resource to get you out of trouble?

With all these computers, what would you do without all the knowledgable IT people?

This is just a continuation of corporations moving responsibility down to lower levels and then reducing salaries as they go.

People used to work 16 hour days so they started labor laws to cut work to 40 hour weeks.
Then they began to classify employees as "exempt" so they were exempt from overtime pay.
Now you can work employees for 60-80 hours a week and not pay them overtime. One step foreward - two steps back. There needs to be a stipulation that a certain amount of overtime for a coutinued period of time qualifies an exempt employee for overtime compensation (and not at the disgression of the manager).

What happened the last time our congress negated laws protecting "We The People"?
Oh yes, we went into a recession because the banks reduced the qualifications for home mortgages!
We need to start to make laws "stick". They were made for a reason.
Now we have to work for years to get ourselves back to a place where we can even hope to
live and retire as well as our parents did.

We're screwed. Let's fight for the next generation at least!!

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:45 PM

6. You're right.

I, too, think it's too late for our generation and anything we can do will benefit the next one.

Thanks for your input. It does hurt to see truly intelligent and valuable people treated this way while number-crunchers at financial institutions are both highly paid and richly rewarded because the banks say "we have to pay to keep our best people". MOST ESPECIALLY since those "best people" purposefully drove the rest of us into a ditch and yet continue to get the pay and bonuses!

ps - Aren't you usually watching Ed right about now?

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:06 PM

11. the cruel irony of the '40 hour week'

 

is that in IT, the only thing that stops (at 40 hours) is the pay

and since work after the 40th hour is free, they want heavy unpaid overtime

40 hours is about the right amount of work for th ehuman mind/body - after 40 hours, producivity wanes and mind/body are overworked

the cruel irony of 'the 40 hour week', is that it went from a maximum limit, to a minimum requirement, with forced work for free (aka 'slavery') after the 40th hour

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Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:30 PM

3. Just got an opportunity for a contract job

 

It pays $30/hour.

I wanted $35.

What do you think? Am I getting ripped off?

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:36 PM

4. From my perspective you sound like the luckiest person on Earth.

I can't even get an $8.00/hr job, IT or otherwise. I made $90k in 1998.

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:40 PM

5. I have no way of knowing that without knowing more about the situation.

IF you work a 40 hr week (and somehow they always seem to make sure their 'contract' employees don't) then:

$30/hr = 1200/wk = 62,400/year GROSS PAY.

As a contractor, I believe you need to pay your own
Taxes (including Soc. Sec. and any local taxes),
Life and Health Insurance, and
Retirement savings.

Depending on your age, try roughing out some figures for the above list and see if you believe you will be left with a 'living wage'.

Most of the younger 'contractors' I know are trying to make it work without paying for health insurance and hoping nothing happens to them (or their family).

p.s. - Contractors usually don't have any long or short term disability pay or insurance either so your on-going health is also an issue.

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Response to cyberpj (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:04 PM

16. I'm on disability and have Medicare

 

Is there a way to keep it and go on a contract?

My pay maximum is 1000 a month (which should be lifted to 2,500 a month IMHO)

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Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:48 PM

7. fake democrat kay hagan whoring for "right to work" for less nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:53 PM

8. Is it me?

I've been wondering since the 2000's if some of these Democrats weren't simply Republi-plants. There just seem to be more and more of them that don't vote like Democrats anymore. Is it just the corporate money or could it be more? I don't put ANYTHING past the Republican party since Rove.


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Response to cyberpj (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:00 PM

10. no, it's not just you

 

silicon valley types have an odd combination of favoring both 'liberal' social policies, and slave labor for their own workplaces. so, starting in the late 1990s, they started shoveling cash into the democratic party ( as well as republcians), and democrats sold it workers down the river as far as they could

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Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:57 PM

9. I didnt know any IT employees got overtime in the first place

 

I had a partner at a 'big 4' accounting/consulting firm tell me that they deliberatly scheduled heavy overtime for one reson, and one reason only - people worked for free after the 40th hour

i was up for management, and he considered this to be 'showing me the ropes'. i quit as soon as i could and became an hourly contractor

'exempt' is the biggest screw job in the world. a large percent of 'exempt' managerial/profession are computer programmers would dont supervise anyone

as far as 'professional' goes, try going to a lawyer or a doctor after 5 and telling them that is should be free, since it's above a 40 hour work week

both parties and corporations have really, really had it in for IT workers in the last 15 year, super vicious stuff

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Response to flexnor (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:08 PM

12. The "cable puller" IT folks used to be hourly

The guys who actually hooked up and ran the the networks used to be hourly, as it was considered more like a telephone lineman than a "professional". And so they used to get OT. Higher level IT like software developers has been exempt forever.

The powers that be realized they were paying a lot for helpdesk and network ops people, so they've been gradually considered "professional". It's one of the reasons they came up with certifications like A+, Network+, and MSCE - those mean you're a certified professional!

And yes, it's a way to screw over the peons for more management cash.

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Response to flexnor (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:12 PM

13. "both parties and corporations have really, really had it in for IT workers in the last 15 year..."

That's because everyone discovered how little people who came to this country on H1B visas would take to do the work.

Unfortunately, they also discovered that many of those 'workers' didn't really know what they needed to know to do the job right --but they just didn't care.


Working as a contractor is great as long as the pay covers all the taxes and benefits you need to pay for yourself but most that I know couldn't do it AND support a family unless they are able to charge amazing rates.


And you know what else? You may be young, or not - I don't know - but many of us grew up, got our education and went for the jobs that would pay adequately, including overtime, and included benefits and had a pension. It wasn't an outrageous assumption when I started working, it was the norm. But then our CEO's at the time didn't make thousands of times per year what an average employee made. AND, believe it or not, the company I worked for had bad quarters now and then and the whole place didn't fall apart because the stock fell a few pennies -- I will never get over how things have changed so much that we are all now supposed to believe that every quarter can be a profitable one! How unrealistic can you be?!

Sorry. I sort of went off on a tangent there.

But I'm happy for you if you're happy with your situation.



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Response to cyberpj (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:22 PM

15. no, not happy

 

i wont go into the details of how things turned out for me, but i was in NO WAY suggesting that going hourly contractor was anything beyond the most temporary refuge from the abuses i was fleeing

when i said

"both parties and corporations have really, really had it in for IT workers in the last 15 year..."

what i meant, was that they used h-1b as a baseball bat on guys like me with a message, 'you can run. but you cant hide'

i have always considered the 1998 (first) increase in h-1b, to be a counter counter measure to people who went contractor to evade the salaried overtime abuses

measure - salaried overtime abuse

counter measure - going hourly contrctor

counter counter measure - flooding the market with h-1bs

spy vs spy

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Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:15 PM

14. Hillary Clinton, on H-1b visas

 

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) 2007 Global Alumni Conference -- Santa Clara, California, July 6, 2007. Hillary Clinton reassured the Indian lobbyists and American corporations that she supports an expanded H-1B visa program

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Response to flexnor (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:10 PM

17. Yep. Knew about that. She may have her reasons

but I don't know what they can be other than big business money in her coffers.

There aren't many Dems that I can actually say are what I was brought up to believe Dems are.

She may even have educated Billy Boy to what too many believe are the 'necessary games' to play to get and keep political power; he did, after all, get rid of Glass-Steagall on his way out the door (as if no one would remember it was his doing).

I've been saying for a while now we could use a real party for the working class again - maybe the US needs a Labor Party of it's own.


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Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:17 AM

18. k&r

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Response to cyberpj (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:55 AM

19. I have a state IT Job for 15 years now

and there has never been overtime... just part of the job...

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Response to belcffub (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:20 AM

20. Why should it be "part of the job"? What is the reasoning?

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 07:19 AM

21. no idea... just the way it is... union doesn't care least bit

as we are at the higher end of the wage brackets... they figure for what we get paid it's only fair...

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