IT Employment

A 40-hour week? Not in IT

IT has always been known for its long hours, but according to a new survey by the IT Job Board, the situation is getting worse.

IT has always been known for its long hours, but a new survey released by The IT Job Board says the situation is getting worse. In fact, 7.3 percent of the survey respondents claimed that this year they're working 60 to 75 hours on average each week -- that is one third higher than 2008 (at 4.8 percent).

75 percent advised that their company doesn't pay overtime (or the positions are salaried), and 54 percent claimed to taking work home.

The reasons behind this trend are as you would expect -- high volumes of work and management expectations of staffers.

When asked what impact the longer working hours was having on their professional and personal lives, those surveyed responded:

  • 34 percent believed that their work productivity has decreased.
  • 66 percent stated that their social life has been affected.
  • 37 percent claimed their health had been affected in some way.

So how do you fall in these statistics? Are you working more hours?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

303 comments
Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Most people who do more than forty hours a week on a regular basis are doing so usually because their boss or management do not manage time well or manage well at all. This often results in insufficient staff, poorly organised work practices, and bad rosters or work schedules.

charlesvgoff
charlesvgoff

This situation exists because IT workers allow it to. I make it very clear to companies when they hire me that I do not spend more than 40-hours a week in the office unless there is a vaild emergency. I may take work home and spend an hour or so in the evening once the family has retired but I will not spend my life in the office. I have had a very successful career in IT spanning 25-years. Not to sound harsh but my advice to people working 75-hours a week is, "Grow a spine"

gbohrn
gbohrn

I guess the question would be "Is it worth it???" And also, what is your hourly rate. If you are getting paid say $100K per year on a 2000 hr a year work schedule, you rate is $50/hr. If you are now working 75 hours a week (because you are salaried) for the same pay, your hourly rate is $26.67/hr. Got to ask the question, do you want to work for such a low rate of pay or could you do something else. I freelance, so 75 hrs a week doesn't bug me (as much) as I'm paid hourly or fixed bid, means more money in my pocket. But, to be doing this on a salary (I've been there too more times than I'd like), just bites. So as a salaried employee, you really should keep track of your hourly rate and decide "Is this worth it"

tt
tt

Well this is a hot topic and in the UK I think employers should be vigilant of "forcing" staff to work longer hours through "seamless" political ways or methods of persuasion. The government are cracking down on such employers, please report them by visiting the following link: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/WorkingHoursAndTimeOff/DG_10029426 And gaining contact details, Western countries are supposed to promote healthy human lifestyles and now the Government in the UK is cracking down on something which will tarnish such images. Judicial law will always override, remember that and know your rights - your boss may be your boss but he is not higher than officials who govern this country and I am sure they will show you their true colours when they have authority clamping down on them. You have a powerful friend :) Yours, Tamoochin

christopher.ramey
christopher.ramey

Yeah, seriously. Luckily our hours haven't increased...but that's because there is absolutely zero overtime approved.

kennedyjd
kennedyjd

Hmm.... A few comments. Have had managers that have said that folks should work more than fourty because it's free labor for their project. One developers are off their project, then they can rest. I personally travel most weeks. Adding in the travel time (which, if I can get my laptop open on the jet I do) it's nothing to have in 60+ hours. I can show you schedules where I am resource loaded at 180%. This is really a bad plan, but what's worse is when I am on multiple different schedules resource loaded at this rate. I'd say that it's bad leadership to expect more than 40 hours per week per employee. Having worked in Europe, with work contracts and the like, they don't nearly have the problem. Then again, they don't get paid like their American counterparts. I have seen people complain that if I was working these hours, then I'm taking a job that should go to another person. Personally, I'd for a more European style of work environment. 37.5 hours / week sounds good to me! Cheers!

tappy0814
tappy0814

I work as an hourly contractor. Still I have no choice but to work more than 40 and get paid for 40 hrs only. It is the only way to keep the job these days. In the 90s were, the candidates dictated, "give me a hefty raise or I am leaving. I have 4 other offers" Now it is the other way - call it exploitation if you must. Now employers and prime vendors dictate. Take this much only, or take 20% less, or else I have 20 other candidates ready to take it. During the finalisation of my job, it was made clear that I would be able to bill for 8 hrs a day, 40 hrs max a week. But there is so much work load you will have to work extra hours, weekends, holidays. Of course no will will specify that in black and white. Maybe it borders on being illegal that you make a hourly worker work 10 hrs and pay for 8. What do you people think?

bradwarduk
bradwarduk

thats where management have got it wrong, they don't understand that the higher productivity is in the first 6 hours in a day the rest degrades, and to make someone work 40 + hours a week in say development is just wrong - its highly intense work. i solve more problems just mulling over thoughts when relaxed at home - not when i am chained to a desk - i manage to solve more problem in my head when relaxed and not stressed out about putting in time - management do not understand that - i even have to clock out for a cig - which i found most profound as that is when i get ideas on how to solve issues that i wouldn't of thought of sitting at the pc - makes me wanna become a gardener!

Joutcast
Joutcast

Agree 100%, 75hrs average

CodeCurmudgeon
CodeCurmudgeon

Inexplicably, all of IT has all been reclassified as non-exempt, and no overtime or comp-time is authorized, so it is 40 hours and out, on pain of disciplinary proceedings up to and including termination. So what they get is what we get done in 40 hours, schedules be d*mned.

Renaisssance2008
Renaisssance2008

I work literally 7 days a week. taking a vaction or days off is very limited. I am salaried and because of the economy hiring help to corp. is not an option. As far as social life if you're not involved in IT I really don't have any because Iwork all of the time. My health is fine because I don't really stress or sweat the small stuff. My productivity is strong and I keep learning new items everyday, but thats because I love what I do.

fvazquez
fvazquez

I'm from Mexico, and here it couldn't be worst... It's not that I don't love my job and spending after hours is no problem, but here in Mexico in most companies we are just the "computer guy", and wherever things go smooth then it's because the director or head of the company's good guidance and view, but when things go bad then we IT are supposed to have it up and running in minutes... of course, in IT we have no weekends or special days, everyday is good day for dissaster...

ericgyoung
ericgyoung

From the perspective of an employment law attorney, the non-payment of overtime raises a huge issue. IT positions are not necessarily "managerial" positions exempt from the requirement to pay overtime, even if the employer is calling the position a management/salaried position. This is a ploy to defeat an entitlement to overtime pay, and it is rampant in the IT field. So, these stats are not surprising to me, but continue to be very troubling for an essential segment of the workforce population. Eric G. Young, Esq. ericgyoung@gmail.com eric@virtuallegalconsultants.com

kayte
kayte

I left aerospace IT over 20 years ago (how old school-eh?); I was working Friday nights and Saturdays back then. I figured that if I was gonna work THAT hard for someone else, then I might as well work that hard for myself and keep all the money. Fast forward 24 years: I'm working as a self-employed Music IT Professional, working harder than ever, but loving it. I've ruined my health, gave up having a family, didn't see my nieces grow up, and all in all I gave all to this wonderful career. It takes a special person (idiot/ selfish/ ADHD/ driven?) to work 70+ hour weeks. This amount of overtime should be OUTLAWED or generously compensated for when you work for someone else. Otherwise, we risk a society of unhappy, poorly adjusted people who can't raise their children and take care of others in our "village". I certainly didn't do my share and I can't wait 'til I retire so I can become part of society again.

locum
locum

My problem is I enjoy what I'm doing. I'm pretty sure many others are the same. It's very easy to burn 10 hour days go home and spend another 3 hours online and even work Saturday and Sunday because the line between "hobby" and "work" is so grey. Trying to solve a problem with code or hardware at work rarely can rarely be set aside. It becomes and obsession that must have a conclusion. Often times when I leave work, and in the 40 minute drive home, I will conjure several new possible solutions. As soon as I'm home I will get online and try to apply those solutions. On occasion I have been up until sunrise trying to finish something. That's just my hang up, surprisingly shared by many in our position. If I go to a store on Saturday and look at the electronics section is that work or is that just fun curiosity? When I'm at work; comparing rates, reading PC Mag, online with TechRepublic, on Linkden forging connections. Is that poor productivity or is that working? Going to Vegas for Interop, is that fun or is that work. Some would laugh if you called any trip to Orlando or Vegas work. And yet, you have to go from time to time to keep up to date with an ever changing industry. You can?t just trust the word of sales reps or reviews you have to see, feel and assess for yourself. A trip to Fry's is like Christmas shopping for me. I feel guilty calling that work but it is indeed another avenue of inspiration.

jeelanimunawar
jeelanimunawar

Now compition very high in the market every one want to show good performance.

MytonLopez
MytonLopez

I finally got a job that pays for OT and I work hourly and not salary. I have worked previous jobs as a salaried employee and also got screwed by working extra hours. If lucky some jobs will compensate you with a day off or let you go home early on a Friday or something if you worked extra hours salaried with no extra pay. Now that I get paid to work OT I don't mind if I have to stay late.

eliwap
eliwap

Just because we don't belong to a union does not mean that we need to be exploited. If management wants a night shift and a graveyard shift then its high time they pay the bucks and hire the staff. We aren't robots or slaves. We are human beings that deserve the same rights as any other working person to be able to have the time to take care of their lives. A good manager is the one that knows when the 9 hours are done and tells the worker drop what your doing and go home or your fired. This shouldn't take a union. It should just be common human decency. And if management won't do this then we IT workers need to stand up for ourselves. What are we? Factory workers from the start of the industrial revolution? Didn't we get past this kind of nonsense a long time ago. Stand up for yourselves for crying out loud and refuse to work more than a normal work day. We are all just regular folks too.

susan.mcmillin
susan.mcmillin

How can the business acurately understand the cost of IT if we are routinely giving them 50% more than they paid for. While overtime is a useful way to take up slack in a system, when we do it all the time, all we do is undervalue our services for the future and raise expectations artificially.

sergioms_li
sergioms_li

Depending on every case, some people even likes to be a workaholic. But for those in my situation, believe me, there is always an escape from 10-12 hours workdays to a not boring routing (have to say it) that can include family and friendship plans. We are social beings, aren't we? the only thing is to patiently search for an option in a job that can satisfy every need we have, not just the professional ones. Maybe if I was a single without my wife and 3 children I could think different, but right now, besides my career, family is very important to me too.

pctyson
pctyson

I recently did some research on labor laws in this particular field and found that most IT professionals are not permitted to be exempt (salaried) under the Department of Labor laws. These employers are supposed to be paying you overtime. Here is a Department of Labor link of an opinion on exempt vs non-exempt: http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/opinion/FLSA/2006/2006_10_26_42_FLSA.htm Unless there has been some specific reversal of this opinion that I do not know about, then this is the law of the land. Philip

steveclelland
steveclelland

Thanks for perpetuating the myth. It's people like you, Ms. Bowers who help employers perpetuate the myth of "That is just the way it is". That's crap. I am always willing to put in extra time when it is needed. And sometimes it is BUT that should be the exception not the rule. Thanks for NOT helping the situation at all.

ej79931
ej79931

Salaried, HAH! I'm IS/App support for a rather large publishing company. They say we're "salaried", and thus have to work extra whenever it's called for for no extra pay. Then they have us take "mandatory unpaid vacation" days to cut down on payroll, and any time you take away from work (e.g. 1-2 hrs for a dr appt, etc) must be taken as vacation time. Work extra for free, then they chop off your paycheck at random. You're hourly if you're under 40 a week, salaried if you're over.

n.smutz
n.smutz

I'm 33 years old and am finally going to University for the obligatory Bachelors. I've really enjoyed CS classes and I'm thinking of going that way for my degree. I'd hate to feel like I invested 4 years and my life savings to earn $10 an hour though. I'd value any advice.

phportelance
phportelance

There has been previous comments that you have a choice to work extra hours or not. In IT opportunity is important to advance your career. The only way in some situations to get the opportunity is to work extra hours. If you do not, someone will and they will get the opportunity. The problem is business people control this aspect of IT. There is no recognization or at least an objective way to measure IT talent. The business person is trained to look at the end result and measure something. If an IT person can make something happen he/she must know what they are doing is the attitude. If an IT person stops and asks questions and suggests a better way it has to meet the business needs of a short-term budget even if costs more long-term. The bottom line is IT is not a separate entity recognized for its own worth and until that happens will always be under appreciated.

kelley.walker
kelley.walker

the headline is really misleading. you're talking about a small percentage of people in the survey who reported working really long hours. this hardly constitues a finding worthy of a headline suggesting that the norm in IT is not a forty hour work week. how about giving us the median or mean as a better measure of what a typical IT work week is?

hinesjrh
hinesjrh

That's poor management both by the individual and that individual's manager. Sure, on occassion extended hours are required. I attempt to ensure a quality work environment and keep the longer term hours realistic. When one of my team memeber needs to come in a bit later or leave early or work from home, I grant that ability (we all have family needs and personal responsibilities outside the work place). You need to ask yourself on occassion, why do I work.??? Have you over committed yourself on your mortgage, car payments, credit cards - are you afraid that if you don't work 50+ hours a week you'll loose you job? If you don't like what you're doing or who you work for - change it!

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

If people are working 60 to 75 hours a week on average, it's because they'd rather be doing that than anything else. When people reach a high enough level of dissatisfaction in their environment, then they will do whatever they think is minimally necessary to change it. Of course it took mine workers decades of zero job safety and being treated as virtual slaves by mining companies to organize the United Mine Workers. Similar problems with the pullmen railroad workers. Push workers hard enough, long enough, and they'll rebel; and the process won't be pretty.

bhoeg
bhoeg

I was unemployed for 4 months, and getting back to work was WELL worth the extra hours - be happy to have a job that you (hopefully) love doing... Do the extra time because you make an impact - not because you have to!

joshuabj
joshuabj

I usually work aroun 50 hours a week. However, I also get overtime. This is a welcome difference to a few years ago working 90 hours a week because of the work load. Our staff has more than doubled since then so that the work is very evenly distributed now.

Marcus55901
Marcus55901

I agree that there is a culture of working extra hours in IT, as well as many other professional categories. But one should take the survey numbers with a big grain of salt: it is well known that self-reported work hours are significantly higher than what is measured by neutral observers. In short, we all exaggerate a lot. Innocently, perhaps, but it happens.

Techrat, Inc.
Techrat, Inc.

It depends on the IT job: Programmers - 40, if there are no big projects going-on. 60-80, if some 'goofy' initive is going on. H/W Techs - 40+, Somebody always calls during lunch or at 5mins to close. But basicly - Out the door at 5. Upper level techs can be on-call. NetTech - 50+, Expected to do a full day and HW fixes/upgrades off hours and weekends. Almost always on-call or has a Blackberry. Net/SysAdm - 60+, Expected to do a full day, plus patching and testing after hours and weekends. Almost always on call or has a Blackberry. IT Manager - 60+, Expected to do a full day, plus supervise work done after hours and weekends and do reports that translate technical terms and high level concepts into language that two year olds can understand, with matching pictures, charts and graphs. Usually has a Blackberry and home phone on record. As a SysAdmin, Ive automated a lot of 'repetative' tasks since getting my job and reconfigured Servers and hardware for best performance. A well setup server usually doesn't crash. When I first got here, I was busting my hump doing 10-12 hour days, measuring and documenting everything I could find. Everything that I was doing seemed to be a waste of time to everyone. Now that I've completed reconfiguring and scripting everying, I'm chilling at my desk most of the time. And because I can pull just about any report with the touch of a button, the upper management considers me a superstar. Other than off-hour/weeking patching and testing, I rarely work more than 40hrs a week. So on a monthly scale my hours averages out to be 45-50 hours per week, yet my time for actually doing work is about 2/3rds of that.

kyle.mansell
kyle.mansell

You guys are way out on this one - Not to be funny but i do a 40 hour week plus an extra 10/20 hours work not because i want to but because i have no choice we are understaffed and deadlines have to be met or say by by to your job. Call it unfair if you wish but the reality of life is we will do what is required to make our working life easier, who want to go to work and have friction from managers (the people who decide if you stay or go??)and colleagues - everone reports to someone!! The other side to this is the people that just go home at the end of the day and forget everything, these people need to realise that to have a successful career you have to prove that you have drive to improve the business and make a difference and are not just there for an easy ride..... Thats my way of looking at it... and from my experience thats life....

aholthouse
aholthouse

IT for me is a passion. Given that, I could easily stay at work far beyond the usual 38 hour week, but I don't. Work life balance is very important to me and I ensure that I: 1) Finish as much work as I can during designated work hours 2) Leave on time every day 3) Only schedule after hours work once a month 4) Spend plenty of time with my family..

AV .
AV .

Next time they want you to work extra hours, weekends, etc. for nothing after working 40 hours, get it in writing, if you can. Remind them that you already put in 40 hours and that they are required to pay you overtime after 40 hours by law (FLSA Fair Labor Standards Act) or give you comp time. I work at a NJ law firm as a Net Admin. They recently changed my status at work from exempt to non-exempt to comply with NJ's new labor laws, making me eligible for overtime pay for the first time in 15 years. They made it clear to me that all overtime must be approved or taken as comp time. They said they expected me to work no more than 35 hours a week. I'm ok with that. I used to put in alot more time, but because I didn't manage people, they could no longer consider me exempt. They were actually quite nervous that they were not compliant and could be fined. The place where you work could be in a whole heap of trouble for non-compliance. You should contact an employment lawyer to see what you can do. Many of them give free consultations. Check out this site http://www.lawguru.com. You can ask a question online and get a free answer from a qualified attorney. Its just a shame that some employers exploit their workers because times are tough. AV

jk2001
jk2001

Dude, working someone 10 hours and paying for 8 doesn't "border on being illegal." It is completely illegal. In some situations, you can sue for extra damages. Also, if you have to work in their office, and they control your hours of work, then, they are illegally calling you a consultant when you're actually an employee (and eligible for company bennies). I think the CYA way to deal with this is to work 40 hours a week, and no more than 40 hours a week. Keep the client honest. If there's more work, they can pay for more hours. If they terminate the contract and get someone more compliant... try talking them into doing exactly what I'm telling you to do.

dbecker
dbecker

President Jimmy Carter set the status of Exempt by salary: Everyone who makes above a certain salary in an office is automatically exempt. THAT is where this problem comes from. Employers play that to the hilt because you either play by the exempt rules or you probably won't have your job long [all things being equal, with the recognized exceptions]. Jimmy Carter, now seems to have gained credibility by working with Weyerhaueser as an ambassador for the Habitat for Humanity. It's just that... besides setting the salary exemption rule, he also set the air conditioning cooling to 78 degrees -- so some of the buildings built in the Seventies swelter in the summer. I worked at one... at Weyerhaeuser [which has been having some challenges of late -- and also having had gutted their tech staff with outsourcing BEFORE selling off Containerboard Packaging to International Paper (which is going down the tubes from having bought the money loser business)]. You have to ask yourself a question: In the end (for all those problems solved which were created by bad management in the first place), what difference will your working 60, 70, 80 hour weeks+ make in the long term? Consider the developers who forewent their vacation to Hawaii -- and in one case, postponing a wedding -- in order to finish a hot project for Weyerhaeuser Containerboard Packaging. They all received a bonus for a job well done. Because of the way bonuses are allocated, each member of the project team got a whopping $80 [the contractors were paid a $20,000 bonus each]. Now I ask you, for all that work and for all that effort, make a difference in the Weyerhaeuser Corporation, just where did it leave them and the company today. It reminds me of "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" where Max gives this speech about everybody's efforts -- and in the end, it doesn't make any difference, because the Universe comes to an end. The people are gone. The business is gone. And in some cases, the health of the workers who worked there is gone -- along with the workers. Not only is IT short-sighted, the business or government agency [adopting the worst of the corporate model and implementing it badly] short-sighted, but IT workers themselves are short-sighted. It would be a difficult sell job for almost anyone in IT to prove their worth in the long run to those in management who are incompetent and don't care anyway. All they care about is that they can continue to draw salary one way or another. No one in IT matters much, unless... it comes time for that CALL.

jk2001
jk2001

I'm just like you - sometimes, I can hack for hours and hours. It's not good for me, but, it's hard to stop when the solution seems so close at hand. The problem is, if you're doing this for your employer, you're really only hurting yourself and your coworkers in the long run. You're raising expectations well beyond what's reasonable, and you're also reducing your salary. What I do is have side projects. They are a good way to learn new things and try new techniques. Give the code away - it's not "work". The hobby work sometimes becomes my work-work, but that's a very good thing for me... I'll have hobby-like work at work, and an additional hobby project on the side.

Kelley@HollywoodSteel.com
Kelley@HollywoodSteel.com

I was blown away when I discovered that programming, etc was specifically excluded from OT pay. I don't know what lobby got this through, but it is a crock! The information that you cited states "Computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers ... are eligible for exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay..."

iTh4uNow
iTh4uNow

The hour basis for a salaried employee is 2080 therefor that is what I work. I tell people I will give 1010% after that i take time off or paid, simply.So after the 44th hour of the week I am out the door or log those extra hours. I do not take breaks or sit down for lunch. I have worked at the abuse of others for way to long until one day I simply woke up. Set the rules, if your employer/superviser does not repect you move on or take the abuse but this is your decision. I never not respond but I take equal time after each event or log my hours and take time when it meets my needs and job schedule . IT is NOT an automatic 40+ job unless YOU allow it to be so. Save your sanity and your self respect, Do not feed into this crap!!!!

arignote
arignote

Especially the multimedia part. There's a need for more user interface developers and computer/game based learning. You should aim for a smaller creative firm where you might get more job flexibility. Or consider consulting.

jk2001
jk2001

If you want to get ahead, I don't think it's a good idea to do your employer's work all the time. I've been capping my hours at 40 for a while, and spend my self-education time studying things different from work. Generally, it's stuff that's more difficult or esoteric than what I deal with at work. Also, for the sake of my hobby (which is also computers) I try to use free software and, if something doesn't work, resolve to file a bug report. It's the same kind of labor as what I do at work, but the purpose of this labor is different, and more noble.

waltjohnson35
waltjohnson35

I have worked in various areas of IT since 1962. First as a hourly & overtime paid city government employee, then as a salaried computer manufacturer tech, and then on a college faculty. Each job would push you to your limit of time worked if they could. The key for me was to be good and efficient so that the company needed me and got their money's worth. Another point was to save money so that after the first few years I could afford to say NO when the demands were unreasonable. In the second case when the company became unreasonable I took an early retirement with short notice. Because of my reputation I had no problem finding new suitable employment. There were many weeks when I worked more than 40 hours when there were exceptional needs but there were others when I worked 30 hours or four days instead of five. It was a combination of balance and excellence.

jlippens
jlippens

I agree Dr. Zinj....they like to complain but won't do much to change it until its critical mass.

flash52
flash52

I love my job and I have a great bosses who understand the give and take of working OT. It's rarely been a problem to work OT then take extra time off. Every situation is unique. The problem for me is twofold. First the staff that my department support generally think that we are required to jump whenever we receive a call and only ask "How High?". This is a 'management' issue where the dept. head should inform the organization of IT role/responsibilities, and it's up to the IT worker to "manage" the person who needs assistance. (eg. I'm sorry Mr. Hiner that the printer you're trying to use isn't operational at 10pm on a Saturday, please use a different one and I will address the problem first thing on Monday, Oh and by the way thank you for the heads up that there may be a problem. Have a Good weekend.") The second issue is that your employment role may extend beyond IT. My co-worker and I have additional responsibilities that occasionally take us away from our primary IT roles. If we can't get to an IT problem there is an understanding that we will as soon as we are able, if that means some OT that is ok since the employer will make it up to us. This my be an economic reality of our time but it doesn't have to be a negative, as long as you and your organization benifit from the arrangment. In the final analysis the time you devote to your work has to be a concenus between all parties you (your family), the boss, and your customers as to what is equitable and enjoyable for everyone.

ke_xtian
ke_xtian

I have worked my share of 40+ hour weeks to take care of the inevitable project implementations and upgrades, but I have never made a habit of it. If my mgt expects me to give up my time with my family and outside interests, I test them by not doing it. In every case, my performance during normal working hours keeps them from pushing me, and from pushing me out the door. Sure, I might have experienced a delay in promotions or missed some % points in raises over the 37+ years I have been in IT, both as a tech and in mgt, but my philosophy is that that is the price I must pay to have a life. I even had one boss who demanded that I work more hours, but he would not sit with me for 30 minutes to review my assignments and help me prioritize them to meet his needs. He just blew me off by saying "They are all important. Everything is priority one." To which I replied, "To meet that expectation I am going to have to work 80-hour weeks. If that is what you want, you are going to have to get yourself another girl." On a couple of occasions he even confronted me with the issue in front of my co-workers, and I had to use that phrase on him in their presence. That went on for 3 years until I found the plum job I am in now. I was doing such a great job of diagnosing the multitude of performance issues (some of which were so elementary, it was laughable) in their SQL Server/ASP app, they did not want to lose me. They realized they were lucky to have me and didn't want to lose me. So, the lessons here are 1) don't do it because you think they will fire you, unless you are already uncertain about your own abilities and performance. And 2) don't do it for promotions and raises. I have been on the mgt side of that, and so I know what a crap shoot that is. Do it for the fun of the work you do and the satisfaction of getting the work done. Another lesson I have seen on this thread is don't do it out of loyalty. Your managers' loyalties to you end when their bonus checks start to suffer. They will do ANYTHING to keep the bonuses coming. If you are competent and hard-working, NO company deserves you. They are lucky to have you. I sign off by saying, I have never heard of anybody on their death bed saying "I wish I had spent more time in the office."

pctyson
pctyson

Employees need to know their rights. If an employer knows that they are supposed to pay you overtime and does not then you can collect the pay owed you plus a punitive damage where the amount owed is actually doubled. Look at this Department of Labor opinion on whether an employee is exempt/non-exempt (salaried/hourly). Most IT people are non-exempt. http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/opinion/FLSA/2006/2006_10_26_42_FLSA.htm

tappy0814
tappy0814

Thanks for the suggestion. However, I am just scared that if I bring it up, the contract will be terminated. In this job market, I dont know if I can land another quickly enough.

tappy0814
tappy0814

Thank you Nick and jk2001. I appreciate your input. I will keep records and possibly take this up with the client at a later stage.

jk2001
jk2001

If you have to keep the job, do what you must, but keep records. Talk to a labor lawyer, and get some advice. At worst, you keep getting screwed but retain the job. At best, you can sue this guy later, and get some of the money you're owed. In the future, there may be more money available, and the client won't put up a fight.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Have you been keeping a record of your work hours? Can you prove you've been required to work over 40 hours/week and not been compensated for it? Your status as a contractor does not matter; they cannot require you to work time for which you are not getting paid.

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