RE: Hourly vs. Salaried

Subject: RE: Hourly vs. Salaried
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: <quills -at- airmail -dot- net>, "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Parcell, Michelle" <Michelle_Parcell -at- g1 -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 19:28:14 -0800

Pardon my rant, but... <g>

What everyone always misses when this question comes up is that it isn't how
they pay you, it's what they think you do for a living, and to me, calling a
technical writer a non-exempt employee is a slap in the face akin to making
one of our primary duties the answering of telephones.

See, the US labor laws define certain occupations exempt from the normal
overtime laws, and the test for exemption is the following:

employee must be paid at least
$250 per week on a salary or fee basis; have a primary duty of (1) work
requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or
learning customarily acquired by prolonged, specialized, intellectual
instruction and study, or (2) work that is original and creative in a
recognized field of artistic endeavor, or (3) teaching in a school
system or educational institution, or (4) work as a computer systems
analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly-
skilled worker in the computer software field; and perform work
requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment, or work
requiring invention, imagination, or talent in a recognized field of
artistic endeavor.
-----------end quote-----------------

We are creative. Our jobs require specialized knowledge. We are similarly
skilled to our friends the devs. We are called upon to exercise discretion
and judgement, and our work requires invention, imagination, and talent. And
if anyone tells you that technical writing is usually included in the
"guidelines" as a non-exemptcategory, you can tell them that technical
writing has evolved far beyond parts-list-creator since the law and
guidelines were written. <g>

I've seen this question come up in M&As before -- that's pretty much the
only time that the legal department gets to run the show. A reasoned
argument based on the tests above usually lets them check the box and file
the form.

Interestingly enough, this exemption is often called the "white collar"
exemptions, but otherwise is categorized as "executive, administrative, and

-Sue Gallagher

> My company was recently acquired and we're going through the
> >growing pains of assimilating to their HR systems, among other
> >things. My manager was recently told by the new powers that be that
> >we writers should be hourly rather than salaried, which was a huge
> >surprise to us (since we've always been salaried). My manager thinks
> >there may be legal reasons for this and that the government may have
> >defined what we do as being an hourly-type job (to ensure we are
> >paid OT). I was wondering if there were many of you who were hourly
> >or if anyone has had to "defend" being a salaried employee.


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Re: Hourly vs. Salaried: From: quills

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