Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 12:28:07 -0700

It sounds to me as if the "National Writers Union" that
pushed to get this provision into the CA labor codes
has a lot of low-wage software and web writers in its
ranks and not very many technical writers from other
fields. I never heard of them before this labor code
provision was enacted, and nobody ever asked
writers in any industry I've worked in (all non-software)
whether they wanted to join a union or be hourly workers.
A quick surf over to their website reveals that they have
a total nationwide membership of 1600 people. How
an organization like this managed to get anything
enacted into law in CA is probably one of the great
mysteries of the decade.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
> The more I read about it, the more I think the intent of the law is
> illustrated where it draws the distinction between those who write
> software specifications based on end-user requirements, and those who
> write product documentation for end-users. Writing software specs
> require specialized knowledge, product documentation doesn't.
> The distinction is defined by the extremes, but is artificial--the job
> duties are a continuum with no natural boundary. I reckon the industry
> is well aware of the problem they've created. They'd have to be severely
> handicapped not to have seen that the law says OT for documentation
> functions at one end of the continuum.
> My guess is that they've known for some time whether they would contest
> OT suits while rewriting the laws, or just pay the plaintiffs, win some
> good will, and rewrite the laws. My hope is that we'll be there to
> inject our reality when employers lobby again to write exempt laws for
> software workers.


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RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Lauren
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Ned Bedinger

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