Computer Professional

Computer Professional

Obviously, one of the quickest growing industries in this day and age is the computer industry. But computer technology, as important and efficient as it is, is complex and esoteric for most people. Thus, with the boom of the computer industry, the number of professional computer consultants and technicians working throughout the industry and others has exploded.

Perhaps in response to this, computer professionals have become an exempt class of workers who are not presently required to earn overtime compensation at the point when the rest of us would, assuming the workers actually qualify for the exemption as according to the test below.

However, not all computer professionals may qualify. In order to be exempt, the computer professional in question must be earning at least $75,000 a year for full-time employment. In addition, the computer professional must perform intellectual, creative, or inventive work with computers and exercise judgment in his work. This last provision can be critical. For instance, while it might apply to a proprietary software designer and thus exempt him, it might not apply to a computer repairman.

On top of that, the computer professional must be involved with either 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; or the documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to the design of software or hardware for computer operating systems.

Even if all of the above is met in the case of a particular employee, there are still a few exceptions to know. Firstly, the exemption will not apply if the computer professional is a trainee. Once the trainee has finished her preparation and can join the workforce as an independent professional, she may then reach exemption. Secondly, people who only manufacture, assemble, or repair computers or computer parts are not to be confused with computer professionals for the purposes of this exemption, because computer manufacturers do not work with software or systems, which is outside the exemption, as much as the actual hardware.

Thirdly, someone who often uses computers and is quite skilled in their use (such as an engineer) but whose specialty is not computer-related, also does not qualify for the exemption, as such an individual may be highly proficient with computers but is not known as a computer professional. Finally, an employee who produces documentation for computers such as labels or packaged instructions is not a computer professional for exemption purposes, and neither is an effects designer or renderer for the entertainment industry.

The classification of a worker is not determined by title but instead is determined by both salary and duties. Thus, it is irrelevant if a nonexempt employee agrees to work overtime without additional compensation; additional compensation would be required by California law.

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If you have not been granted proper overtime wages, or if you have been denied rest periods or meal breaks or have been compelled to work during them, contact the experienced lawyers for overtime compensation and rest or meal breaks at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.