RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 21:11:45 -0700

> From: Jay Maechtlen

> Ned Bedinger wrote:

> > The California bar is set at $36/hr.
> Interesting number.
> The attorney in that suit spoke at our chapter a while back.
> He named a
> much higher range, that would exclude almost any of us.

If you look at the Dept. of Labor's adjusted rate information, you will see
that the rate dropped from $49.77 to $36 per hour, effective at the start of
this year. But when the extension of the professional exemption to include
computer software employees was introduced in 2000, the rate was $41 per

The rate does not matter as far as technical writers are concerned because
they are explicitly excluded from the law, but they may still be covered
under the professional exemption law, which is what Sun argues. Hoenemier
argues that she is not a professional under the definition provided in the
professional exemption, but she is a computer software employee who is
excepted from the OT exemption.

The professional exemption part of the law sets the minimum hourly rate of
pay at two times the minimum wage, which is currently $8 per hour. So, the
professional exemption would apply to employees earning at least $16 per
hour when all the other requirements are met. Computer software employees,
except technical writers, can earn more than twice as much as other
employees before they are eligible to be exempt from OT laws.

The legislation that reduced the rate is SB 929 - Chapter 07-482.

The law about professional exemption is CA Labor Code LC 515. The law that
extends the exemption to computer software employees with the technical
writer exception is LC 515.5.;

The rate information is linked from the glossary that defines "employee in
the computer software field."

The pdf of the link.



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Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Jay Maechtlen

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