Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 23:11:12 -0400

There is a need to test these things in court from time to time, to get
decisions on the books and keep those who are involved in labour law
gainfully occupied. :-) The foundational issue, however, is the tendency
of companies to require unpaid overtime to mask poor project management.
Sure, there are times on some projects when heroic effort and overtime
near release date is required because of unforeseen events, but that
should be an extraordinary occurrence. If every project, every time,
only gets done because people are pulling all-nighters and working
weekends, they are probably allowing rampant scope creep, not tracking
work correctly, and don't have a handle on change control, among other
issues. One would think a company such as Sun Microsystems would have a
little more organizational maturity than that.

Is it just the techwriters working overtime -- maybe because they're
brought in too late in the release cycle? That can happen, but I suspect
the problem lies with management, not the workers.

The days of "If you go out to the parking lot, turn back to look at the
building and still see lights on, you'd better get back to your desk"
are long gone. Burning people out in the name of technology development
is so last century. These companies need to get a grip, manage their
iterations, and stop exploiting high tech workers. If it takes a law
suit to raise awareness, so be it.
--Beth

Rob Hudson wrote:
> 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.
>
> On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 11:15 AM, Eric J. Ray <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com> wrote:
>
>> Interesting:
>> http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_9261230
>>
>> From the article:
>> <quote>
>> Class action overtime lawsuit filed against Sun Microsystems
>> Article Launched: 05/14/2008 06:03:13 PM PDT
>>
>> Dani Hoenemier says she worked long days as a technical writer for Sun
>> Microsystems, sometimes spending over 60 hours a week at her computer
>> when the company was preparing a new product release.
>>
>> Sun's technical writers may earn salaries of $100,000 a year, but they
>> don't get overtime pay for the extra hours, according to Hoenemier's
>> attorney, who is challenging the company's practice of treating
>> Hoenemier and about 300 other writers as exempt from state labor laws
>> governing overtime and breaks.
>>
>> </quote>
>> And it continues....
>>
>>
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

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

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