Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers

Subject: Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers
From: Suzette Leeming <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Downing, David" <david -dot- downing -at- fiserv -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 11:10:58 -0500

If the overtime is only occasional, and lieu time is given in place of
overtime, then I have no issue. I have a problem with employers who
regularly expect uncompensated overtime, or if such overtime is required
because there simply is too much work for the staffing level. I really care
about my work, and if I need to stay an hour or so to finish something up,
or if there's an important deadline (not the result of poor planning on
management's part), then I definitely commit to the job, and won't
necessarily expect to be compensated.

Bottom line is I don't like being taken advantage of.

In my current situation, we have close to 50 developers, a suite of
financial software that is quite complex with a dozen subsystems, and we
maintain documentation for three versions of the software (current release,
last release and in development), including pdf manuals and online help, as
well as a knowledgebase, and training materials. And we have one technical
writer (me). If I were to put in 12-15 hour days, I would be able to get it
all done, but then they would never realize they need another techwriter. I
would quickly burn out and they would be up the proverbial creek. So, I draw
the line and severely limit overtime.

I'm glad the labour laws are different in Canada, as I am salaried but not
deemed exempt, and can still call myself a professional.

Suzette Leeming

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:51 AM, Downing, David
<david -dot- downing -at- fiserv -dot- com>wrote:

> From: voxwoman <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers
> I shall reiterate this yet again... I will be happy to be "exempt" from
> hourly wages as soon as my doctor and my lawyer do the same. I believe both
> those highly valued/highly touted professions are treated as hourly
> employees. At least they bill that way.
> People should be compensated for the time that they work. If management
> plans poorly enough to require additional hours from their employees to
> meet
> their deadlines, they should be willing to pay for that time,
> David Downing
> Senior Technical Writer
> Credit Union Solutions
> Fiserv
> ----------------------------------------
> I agree whole heartedly, but as every adult knows -- and some of us have
> learned the hard way -- what *should be* and what *is* are two different
> things. When your boss tells you you need to put in extra hours, and then
> says, "But you don't get paid overtime because you're salaried," what can
> you do.
> (Actually, in my case, we have gotten compensatory time off if it was a
> matter of meeting a deadline.)
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
solution. Author in Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word or
HTML and publish to the Web, Help systems or printed manuals.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers: From: Downing, David

Previous by Author: Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers
Next by Author: Re: The Agile / Xtreme TW
Previous by Thread: Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers
Next by Thread: Re: Exempt status for Tech Writers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads