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Are workers in the field of computers exempt from overtime rules?

In most fields, federal law entitles workers who work overtime to overtime pay. However, there are certain fields in which certain workers are excluded from these protections under a special exemption. One of these fields is the field of computers.

Now, not all individuals who have a job involving working in the field of computers are exempt from federal overtime law coverage under the special exemption for computer-related work. Rather, only computer workers who meet certain requirements are.

One of these requirements is that they have to have a certain type of computer-related job. Specifically, they have to be working as a computer programmer, a software engineer, a computer systems analyst or some other skilled computer position involving similar types of duties.

As a note, when determining whether a computer worker is in one of these positions, it is not their job title that matters but rather what they actually do at work. Another requirement that a computer worker has to meet for them to be found exempt from federal overtime rules under the computer-related-work exemption is that their primary job duty has to be one of the duties that is present on a list of qualifying duties connected to the exemption rule.

Finally, even if a computer worker has a qualifying job and their primary job duty is one of the qualifying duties, they are only excluded from overtime protections by this exemption if their wage/fee/salary compensation is at or above a certain level.

So, whether a given worker in the computer field is or is not covered by federal overtime pay laws depends very much on the specifics of their position.

This underscores that some types of fields have very complex federal rules apply to them regarding whether federal overtime protections apply to field workers or not. So, there can be situations in which whether or not a given worker has federal overtime rights might not be as straightforward of a matter as one might expect.

When a worker is facing overtime issues with their employer, it can be very important for them to know where their particular position falls when it comes to federal overtime rules, as this can greatly influence what they can do in their situation. Computer workers and other workers who have questions on whether they have federal overtime rights may want to speak to a lawyer knowledgeable on wage and hour issues.

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Warren & Siurek, L.L.P.
3334 Richmond Avenue, Suite 100
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