Re: FWD: Seeking assistance-contract rates

Subject: Re: FWD: Seeking assistance-contract rates
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2000 13:58:21 -0800

> >2 - This would be an hourly rate contract, at 40 hours per week. Is the
> >agency obligated to pay time and a half for overtime? Or just straight
> >rate regardless of the total number of hours per week??

> In some places there are state laws that govern this. In Georgia, for
> example, the state sets an hourly rate threshold. Rates below this are
> considered "hourly" jobs and receive 1.5 for overtime. Rates above the
> threshold are considered "salaried" positions that receive straight time
> for overtime.

I've never heard of a contract for technical writing that paid overtime. My
experience has been that 40 hrs/week is what's expected, although there may be more
or less at times. The client may actually want more hours from a contractor,
especially in the view of some that contractors are there only for special purposes
and that >40 hrs/wk is part of the game for them.

> And, from my personal philosophy, I would avoid frequent overtime. <numerous
> reasons snipped>

That may be true as a salaried employee, but not necessarily as a contractor.
Contractors are usually brought in because a project needs more help than is
available from the current ranks of employees. While there may be a maximum amount
available on the contract, there are usually no hours per week limits, and
sometimes it's important to put in extra hours to meet deadlines. My experience
has been that employers are grateful when you do put in overtime in order to make a
deadline and that in no way do they hold it against you. I have yet to encounter
an employer who thought that I was "slow and incapable of completing work within
schedule," or that I was in over my head and wouldn't ask for help, or that I
couldn't manage my time or adjust priorities.

The standard agency contracts around here include a provision for the contractor
not working for the same company for some specific period, usually a year, after
the last date worked on this contract. There are pros and cons about the
enforceability of this provision, but it's usually not a good idea to burn your
bridges. While contracting agencies around here (Silicon Valley) appear and
disappear with amazing speed, the agents themselves often turn up again working for
someone else. And they remember the cheaters.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems





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