Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 20:34:32 -0700

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
> Cite where the law says that. The glossary says that, but the law does not.
> The law applies to both salary and hourly employees. This could be a
> controversy, but how do you interpret the phrase, "or the annualized
> full-time salary equivalent of that rate" if it doesn't mean salaried after
> hourly was already specified?

What it means is, you are considered to be paid hourly
for labor code purposes as long as your income is
dependent upon your working a specific number of hours
regardless of whether your pay is stated as dollars per
hour or dollars per year. For example, $50,000/yr is
"the annualized full-time salary equivalent" of an hourly
rate of $25/hr x 40 hrs/wk x 50 wks/yr (the work year for
an employee who receives 2 wks of paid vacation). it's
the states way of driving the point home to employers
that their employees are not salaried just because they
express their pay on an annualized basis. It does not
mean that the law applies to employees who really are
salaried (people whose income is based on their work
responsibilities and does not vary with the number of
hours worked)

> I think that Sun is correct that 515 applies and that 515.5 does not apply,
> but I also think that 515 does not include duties that are consistent with
> technical writing, unless Sun can prove that Hoenemier fit in the class of
> "executive, administrative, and
> professional employees, provided that the employee is primarily
> engaged in the duties that meet the test of the exemption,
> customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent
> judgment in performing those duties."

This is the part where many technical writers will ultimately
part company with Hoenemeir: they want to be considered
professionals, not clerical level office workers, which is
what Hoenemeir is effectively arguing that she was at Sun.

Gene Kim-Eng

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