There was a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week that seeks to modify the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) computer employee exemption, effectively eliminating overtime pay for IT professionals. The Computer Professionals Update Act ("CPU"/S. 1747) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) and cosponsors Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).
Under current law, an employee qualifies for the exemption if his "primary duty" consists of:
- The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
- The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
- The design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
- A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.
In effect, S. 1747 would remove overtime protection and compensation for virtually any worker directly employed in information technology. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. National Advocates for Employee Rights is working with coalition partners to oppose the legislation. The bill can be found at:
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.