Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 09:40:42 +1000

Lauren wrote:
>> From: Gene Kim-Eng
>
>> Lawyer's arguments notwithstanding, it seems to me (and
>> I'm not a lawyer) that the key phrase in the computer software
>> employee section is "who is paid on an hourly basis."
>
> That was my original impression when I read the definition in the glossary.
> However, the law for computer software employees, LC 515.5 does not
> specifically restrict itself to "hourly" employees. Section 4 reads, "The
> employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than thirty-six dollars ($36.00),
> or the annualized full-time salary equivalent of that rate, provided that
> all other requirements of this section are met and that in each workweek the
> employee receives not less than thirty-six dollars ($36.00) per hour
> worked."
>
> What 515.5 does is include computer software employees, either paid hourly
> or on salary, in the professional exemption of 515, which is restricted to
> salaried employees and its definition does not include the type of work
> described in the computer software employee definition.
>
> I think the issue with technical writers in the law and in this case is that
> technical writers do not direct their own work in the sense described in the
> law. TWs receive orders for work, like "here is a project, now document
> it," but they do not control or direct the projects that require the work.
> So, although TWs may have some autonomy for how they do their jobs, they do
> not have autonomy for directing the scope, deliverables, and deadlines for
> their work. This puts TWs at a disadvantage, so the exception to the law in
> 515.5 should protect TWs. As TWs demand more autonomy and recognition for
> their contributions, companies may begin to see that TWs are placing
> themselves within the definition of professional employee, 515.
>

I'm not sure I understand this distinction: this is not
specific to TWs. Almost no one who is getting paid a
salary by a company has total autonomy. Engineers and
programmers, who are clearly covered by the statute, are
also told "here is a project, here is its scope and your
deliverables, and here is your deadline."

-- Janice

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Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
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RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Lauren

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