Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 09:23:44 -0700

I've seen this happen before (history at the end of this
post). I won't take a position on whether it's bad or good.
You decide for yourselves...

One of the things you should expect to see if this happens
is an almost immediate 15-20% cut in compensation offers
for new tech writers, to compensate for the end of the one-
hour-a-day "casual overtime" that is the de facto standard
rolled into the salaries for most exempt professional tech
employees; existing writers will see annual increases
throttled until the pay grades are "leveled." You can also
expect to be required to log all your hours and be required
to use vacation or PTO whenever you need to be out of the
office for some fraction of a day.

Alternatively, tech writer rates may not change, but tech
writers will be told that no overtime is authorized and they
should leave at the end of a standard workday. Three
guesses as to whether the deadlines and objectives on
which performance evaluations are based will be adjusted

On a less tangible basis, expect to see an increase in
the perception of tech writers as "glorified secretaries"
by engineers and other professionals who continue to
work on an exempt/salaried basis and see the writers
going home every day at five along with the admins.

I fought this battle at a previous company regarding the
status of document production staff. HR reclassified
them as "non-exempt" because they didn't "apply
creativity" in their work. I had to start making them fill
out time cards and submit requests for PTO anytime
they had to be out of the office for an hour, raises
dried up because the pay grades had to be "leveled"
with other non-exempts, and eventually the position was
reclassified as "clerical" and Purchasing started sending
me brochures from Kelly and Apple One because we
would no longer be able to use the professional recruiters
to fill the positions. Our "solution" was to offer the
production staff the option of being trained by the
senior writers in a few new functions and being
"promoted" to Tech Writer I. They all took it, and all
the "Production Specialist" positions were eventually

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rob Hudson" <caveatrob -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Good luck overturning exempt laws. If employers had to pay hourly for
> work, they might understand what it TRULY costs to get a job done, and
> either start planning or go out of business.


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Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Eric J. Ray
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Rob Hudson

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