Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 07:40:19 -0700

It sounds like what *some* technical writers do. However,
it is merely an *exception* to this provision:

"515.5 (a) Except as provided below in paragraph 5, an
employee in the computer software field who is paid on
an hourly basis shall be exempt under the professional
exemption, if all of the following apply"

So what it really says is that employers may not cite the
"computer software field" provision as the basis to hire
technical writers *as hourly employees* and not pay them
overtime. If a technical writer is hired as a salaried
rather than an hourly employee, they are not covered by
section 515.5 or any of its exceptions and their status is
determined under section 515 (executive, administrative
and professional employees).

In this most recent article about the lawsuit, it appears
that Hoenenmier's complaint and suit are based on her
being required by Sun to work mandatory overtime
(under the "independent judgement" provision of 515
a professional employee should be making his or her
own decisions about whether additional time needs to
be worked and how much). However, her lawyers seem
to have a different agenda (by turning the suit from an
individual to a class action, they stand to collect a larger
fee based on the entire size of the class whether all the
writers working for Sun want to be included or not).

Gene Kim-Eng



----- Original Message -----
From: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>

> This sounds very much like what technical writers do:

> It seems to me that the "documentation" referred to in Section 515.5 (a) are
> those tasks that developers -- not writers -- normally do (that is,
> documentation on a software development level), so again, it appears that
> technical writers in CA should not be classified as exempt.
>
> It looks like nobody looked at the law itself recently. I'm amazed that
> nobody noticed this before now.
>
> If I've made a major mistake in my interpretation, I'd appreciate hearing
> about it.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Darcy Rumbold
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Ned Bedinger
RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Bonnie Granat

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