RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?"

Subject: RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?"
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:37:11 +0000

These are special cases.

Here's the point: Why should a "software technical writer" get paid overtime, if a "hardware technical writer" does not? Or a "computer professional" does not -- especially, for example, a software developer?

You've seen the kinds of hours software developers put in. Are you going to tell me that you work any harder than they do, or that the average "software technical writer" does?

What's the purpose of having this special class of workers that get compensated in this way? No other state in the union has this law.

It hurts writers rather than helps them. So a few people make a little more money, so what? How does that help the profession? It's just greed, and wanting something for nothing. It doesn't make sense in the larger context. Sun was a special case. That was abuse, and they paid for being a "scofflaw," or at least Oracle did. And I don't really know that that was abuse. I didn't read the whole case.

Software developers get paid more, on average, than tech writers. If a tech writer isn't happy, he/she needs to look into a career change where more money can be made. Or find some other way to handle it. But this, "Oh boy, I'm going to make some overtime, hah!" -- that doesn't cut it.

I hope they get rid of the law altogether. Then people can start making some *real* money in this field, trust me. Not this piddly nickel-and-dime overtime stuff.

If a company doesn't have to pay software developers overtime rates, then it doesn't have to pay software technical writers overtime rates. I'm fine with that. Screw the NWU. I'm not a member anyway.

Steve

On Tuesday, June 23, 2015 1:17 PM, Robert Lauriston wrote:

Few people were aware of California Labor Code Â515.5(b)(5) prior to the filing of Hoenemier v. Sun Microsystems in 2008 and Oracle paying
$5 million to settle the action in 2010.

http://ipbuzz.blogspot.com/2010/08/tech-writers-dilemma-exempt.html

Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is a much bigger deal, and companies do it all the time, even some of the biggest companies that have repeatedly been caught and fined. Here's just one law firm's share of that action:

http://ckslaw.com/class-action-cases

I presume scofflaw companies calculate the risks and conclude that the long-term cost lower than if they followed the law.

On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Janoff, Steven <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com> wrote:
> Nah, it doesn't make sense. If it were that big a deal, more companies would be doing it. I suspect the NWU's efforts did very little, and the CLC provision is being legitimately avoided. I don't see these companies as scofflaws at all. No other state has this nonsense.
>
> Note from this that NWU cites 2000 as the effective year, not 2008 (maybe 2008 was when it got into the CLC) -- but also note what they say about 1099-based freelance contractors:

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Follow-Ups:

References:
"Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Mike Christie
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston

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