A new bill introduced in Congress would expand the categories of IT workers denied overtime protection under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Not only would this deny the additional pay — time-and-a-half — for those tech workers forced to work over 40 hours a week, but it would eliminate the incentives companies have not to mandate such overtime in the first place.
This is not only unfriendly to work-life balance of the individuals effected but it also discourages those companies from hiring new workers, since they can just ramp up additional hours on existing workers without any financial penalty.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), titled the “Computer Professionals Update Act,” would eliminate overtime protection for job classes such as database and network specialists and security professionals. The language denies protection to:
“any employee working in a computer or information technology occupation (including, but not limited to, work related to computers, information systems, components, networks, software, hardware, databases, security, internet, intranet, or websites) as an analyst, programmer, engineer, designer, developer, administrator, or other similarly skilled worker,” with primary duties including “the application of systems, network or database analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine or modify hardware, software, network, database, or system functional specifications.”
This is a terrible attack on workers rights that would also hurt incentives for new hiring just in a time when the economy needs new jobs. So a bad idea all around.