Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: tom -dot- kohn -at- kodak -dot- com
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 13:25:05 -0700

tom -dot- kohn -at- kodak -dot- com wrote:
> The article cited (http://www.technet.org/news/article/?postId=9323) is
> copyright California Executive  2008 Providence Publications, LLC.
> Quoting from the site's "Who we are" information:
>

<web site's mission statement text snipped>

> One glaring mistake I see in the article is the assertion that the class
> action against Sun is the first lawsuit of this kind. Not so. Eastman
> Kodak settled a similar suit in 2007, and reclassified its technical
> writers, graphics artists, and many other professionals to non-exempt
> "technician" pay grades. Those subject to reclassification were assured no
> loss in pay would occur during the reclassification. However, the grades
> were generally limited to T8, for which the ceiling pay range was below
> the former salaries of some who were level D43 or higher. A level T9 does
> exist, but its access is extremely limited.

But of course, overtime pay makes up the difference. They do authorize
OT for TW, don't they? Or is Kodak not the kind of place where the
techwriters are chronically overworked?

>
> The failure of logic from the legal advice to "move their technical
> writers out of the state" is that larger corporations typically have
> employees nationwide, sometimes worldwide, and that federal labor law
> would demand that all US-based employees be treated similarly.

Interesting idea, I don't know how it works in that regard. Maybe a
corporation working in many states would chose to have one policy.

I know that the federal law (Fair Labor Standards Act) created the
software worker classification in 1990. Washington state adopted a
similar law in '97, California adopted a similar law a couple of years
later with clearer language about 'professional', then I seem to
remember Hawaii doing something similar. In all, the states seem to
adopt FLSA principles at their own speed. I don't see much of any
requirement for compliance with federal law being played out.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


This
> analysis is at least one reason why Kodak settled the suit and then
> reclassified all technical writers, worldwide.
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References:
Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: tom . kohn

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