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Are Employees in Computer-Related Jobs Exempt From Overtime Requirements?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Unpaid Overtime Jun 09, 2022

software developer at his deskSome employees are exempt from federal overtime pay requirements. That means they are ineligible for time-and-a-half pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week.

The problem is many employees are misclassified as exempt. For example, employees in computer-related occupations are often told they are ineligible for overtime pay when that may not be the case. There is a widely held misconception by employees and employers that a job title can make you exempt from overtime.

The truth is your job title often has little to do with whether you are exempt from overtime. Exemptions from overtime are based on various criteria about the job you do and if your job does not fit one of the criteria for an overtime exemption.

When Are Employees in Computer-Related Jobs Exempt From Overtime?

There are many computer-related occupations, including:

  • Computer programming
  • Software engineering
  • Systems analysis
  • Database administrator
  • Web developer
  • Data security analyst
  • Mobile application developer
  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Applications architect
  • And more

Employees who work in these and other occupations may be exempt from overtime pay if the activities of their jobs fit certain criteria. According to the Department of Labor, you may be exempt from overtime pay if the following things about your job are true:

  • You get paid on a salary or fee basis and receive a minimum of $684 per week or you get paid a minimum of $27.63 per hour
  • You are a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or work in a similar occupation involving computers and your primary duties consist of one of the following four things:
    • Applying systems analysis techniques and procedures, which includes consulting with users, to determine specifications for system functioning, software or hardware
    • Designing, developing, documenting, analyzing, creating, testing or modifying computer programs and/or systems – these activities are based on or related to user or system design specifications
    • Designing, documenting, testing, creating or modifying computer programs that are related to machine operating systems
    • Your job involves a combination of the duties listed above and the performance of your job involves the same types of skills

It is important to note this exemption excludes employees who:

  • Manufacture or repair computer hardware and other related equipment
  • Have work that greatly depends on or is facilitated by using computers and computer software programs (engineering, drafting, computer-aided design software, etc.), but you are not primarily engaged in computer systems analysis and programming or similar computer-related work that is part of the computer employee exemption

What About Computer Testing?

If you are doing testing to create a system, determine the appropriate settings for a system, or doing testing that affects the system in some other way, your job may be exempt from overtime requirements. However, if you are only testing to make sure a system or computer application works in the proper way, according to the design specifications, your job is not exempt from overtime pay requirements.

Jobs That Are Unlikely To Be Exempt From Overtime Requirements

If your job involves the following, it is unlikely you are exempt from overtime pay:

  • Changing software settings to fit what customers need
  • Visiting customers to make sure they are satisfied with the software
  • Responding to customer needs
  • Training customers on specialized computer applications

It is important to specify that if you consult with a customer/user to analyze a system to determine specifications for software or hardware, you may be exempt from overtime.

Contact Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices to Discuss Legal Options

If you think you were illegally denied overtime pay, our firm may be able to help you seek compensation. Our Maryland unpaid overtime attorneys have helped many employees recover unpaid wages. We have extensive knowledge of overtime laws and exemptions.

Our initial consultations are free, and we do not charge upfront fees for our services. We are ready to assist you and help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact Us Today to Discuss an Unpaid Overtime Claim. Call 410-244-7005

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.

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