Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 11:13:01 -0700

Ned Bedinger wrote:
> Janice Gelb wrote:

> That law, in effect, informs employers that we're not professionals.
> We're that class of worker who collects overtime pay: laborers and
> tradesmen, in effect. I think that is damaging, that this impression of
> us that employers have is reinforced every time they hire a contractor.
> Overcoming that, to recapturing our professional status, seems like a
> task of mythic proportions to me. It is easier to change the laws than
> our standing in the workplace.

I've read the thread where Dani and Evan (2 former
Sun tech writers) discuss the reasons for the suit
and the anticipated effect on working tech writers.

It is troubling.

I know that the gap in compensation between software
engineer and tech writer pay can be big enough to
taxi a cargo plane through.

I think that the OT is a token of recognition
that we often work as hard and are owed a
chance to earn something like professional
wages when we do.

The laws that prescribe OT pay are from an age
when W-2 writers were the way software houses
could have the staff when needed, without maintaining
a costly staff of FTEs. Let's not (yet) get
distracted by whether OT is only for w-2 contractors.

The question is, how does OT pay amount to a problem
in technical communications between engineers and us?
Hhow does it follow that software engineers would
treat us differently if we bill OT hours?

Let's face it, tech writers have been in this
position for a decade or more, we're not well
informed about the laws, we haven't been insisting
on OT pay and employers have been insisting they
won't pay it.

We're not so well paid or numerous that our
OT pay would affect shareholders and the bottom line.

I suspect that something else is in play. Does anyone
know what it is?

Speak up, the truth can't be any worse than the current
dark mood of fear and loathing.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Eric J. Ray
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Rob Hudson
RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Jodie Gilmore
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Janice Gelb
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Ned Bedinger

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