TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
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
----- 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.
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-