Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers

Subject: Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 23:23:02 -0800

Deborah Hemstreet wrote:

> I personally think that the whole issue of "Professional" needs to be
> carefully examined and defined. In my opinion, a degree and job title,
> or even the US Government, do not make a person a professional
> practitioner of their career... but I digress.

I agree, and nicely said.

I need to make a *slight* tweak to the notion I earlier suggested about
"professional" being the distinction made between hourly and salaried.
Sorry for bodging that when summing up the overtime issue yesterday.

The legal criteria for determining who was exempt from overtime pay was
in part "duties" based (which is more about professional levels of
knowledge and work-related duties), but the test could also fall back on
the hourly pay rate of a high tech employee.

At that time (early mid-1990s), the US Department of Labor (DOL) set the
upper limit at 6.5 times the national minimum wage, which yielded just
over $USD27/hr. If you made more per hour, as everyone in software
engineering disciplines did, then you were not entitled to overtime pay
rates (1.5 times your normal hourly rate), and that was the intent, to
curb the bleeding of cash from employers to their hourly contract
software engineers working 80+ hours week and billing all but the first
40 hours at time and a half.

And now, a moment of silence please, as we remember the dotcom era and
its spontaneous generation of 20-something software millionaires stuck
in commuter traffic in their Lamborghinis.

Somehow, probably through the agency of linguistically lazy people with
too many extra zeros on their pay packet totals, this $27/hr started
representing the divide where professionals made more, non-professionals
less.

Historical, and a little hysterical,

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
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References:
Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: beelia
Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Ed
RE: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Sarah Stegall
Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Ned Bedinger
Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Deborah Hemstreet
RE: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Deborah Hemstreet

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