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View Full Version : New California law narrows overtime regulations for skilled tech workers


frogspasm
11-08-2008, 07:08 AM
(Forgive me if this has been covered already. I did a search, but couldn't find anything posted on it.)

In California if you're a skilled technology worker and you make under $75k a year you have to be paid overtime. That is, until Governor Schwarzenegger signed this Assembly BIll into law early last month.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2008/10/new-california.html

The new law, which Schwarzenegger signed late Tuesday and took effect immediately, eliminates the hourly calculation. It says employers can instead meet the overtime exemption by paying their workers a gross salary of at least $6,250 a month. That equals the same $75,000 a year, but it means that high-tech companies now don't have to worry about keeping track of the number of hours their employees work, said Carol Freeman, a partner at law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Palo Alto. "There was an ambiguity in the law, and this clarifies that," Freeman said.

Discuss?

GatorNic
11-08-2008, 05:09 PM
I don't remember if it was discussed on this forum. I just remember talking about it at work.

Not that it makes it that much better, there is an exemption in the law for those working in the film industry.

Per-Anders
11-08-2008, 06:20 PM
A number of fields were already exempt from this law, including film and most of the computer graphics and "creative" fields, so in fact it doesn't change anything for most professionals on this site.

tubby
11-08-2008, 06:42 PM
This sounds pretty bad. I know when I was working in Texas they had similar laws that didn't require overtime pay and the companies took advantage of it big time. They gave you deadlines so crazy you were forced to work late hours, but they didn't mind since it was free for them. A really shitty system which slowly ends up burning everyone out or just replacing them with young blood willing to work for free.

just read the post about the exempt fields, pfew. Carry on now, nothing here to see. :)

redbellpeppers
11-08-2008, 07:23 PM
This sounds pretty bad. I know when I was working in Texas they had similar laws that didn't require overtime pay and the companies took advantage of it big time. They gave you deadlines so crazy you were forced to work late hours, but they didn't mind since it was free for them. A really shitty system which slowly ends up burning everyone out or just replacing them with young blood willing to work for free.

just read the post about the exempt fields, pfew. Carry on now, nothing here to see. :)

During a bad economy, you do what you can to keep businesses open and employees employed.

Frank Lake
11-08-2008, 11:42 PM
During a bad economy, you do what you can to keep businesses open and employees employed.

Which works just fine when you are beyond, earnings wise (something nearly impossible with investors demanding ever greater gains), the rising inflation curve that always forms during a bad economic era.

Ikaria
11-09-2008, 02:17 PM
I'm sorry but the bad economy/investor/employer perspective on this is just plain wrong.

This is the sort of thinking that gave us the excesses of the Industrial Revolution then its backlash in form of the Russian revolution.

If proper laws were in place to regulate some of the crazy hours in this industry everybody would be in the same boat. Employers would have to be competitive within a shorter work week, the clients would have to pay a higher price and we'd have a resemblance of a life.

Here's what was happening some 200 years ago -- can you say deja vu?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-hour_day

kili
11-10-2008, 07:59 AM
I'm sorry but the bad economy/investor/employer perspective on this is just plain wrong.

This is the sort of thinking that gave us the excesses of the Industrial Revolution then its backlash in form of the Russian revolution.

If proper laws were in place to regulate some of the crazy hours in this industry everybody would be in the same boat. Employers would have to be competitive within a shorter work week, the clients would have to pay a higher price and we'd have a resemblance of a life.

Here's what was happening some 200 years ago -- can you say deja vu?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-hour_day

Ah yes but, we have to compete with China and India and so on. Work will just be outsourced if the shareholders don't get their pound of your flesh. I used to work in the big electronics company they're went from factories in the UK (got too expensive)> Eastern Europe (got too expensive due to the EU)> then to Burma (no worries they kick the shit out of their own people) The share holders are now happy, wahay. Not cg I know but you can employ 5 indian electrical engineers for 1 UK one.

Ikaria
11-10-2008, 01:23 PM
Ah yes but, we have to compete with China and India and so on. Work will just be outsourced if the shareholders don't get their pound of your flesh. I used to work in the big electronics company they're went from factories in the UK (got too expensive)> Eastern Europe (got too expensive due to the EU)> then to Burma (no worries they kick the shit out of their own people) The share holders are now happy, wahay. Not cg I know but you can employ 5 indian electrical engineers for 1 UK one.

There are at least three ways to compete with someone -- offer a better product, offer a new product or offer a cheaper product. So far, China and India are only competitive in the last category. While globalization will certainly make the first and second more competitive, they will never do away with it. Lots of examples here, just look at Apple. Two years ago they reinvented the cell phone, sold it at a considerable premium and changed the entire industry as a result. Their engineers work in Cupertino, not in Burma.

Speaking of engineers -- my father has been one for the past 40+ years. I've yet to see him work a 12hr day and he's hardly a slacker.

As for the CG world -- as artists, we're too busy praying to Pixar, Blizzard and Framestore to make a difference in our own work conditions. Else we'd be writing to our State Representatives to make sure that such exceptions as those in the California law did not pass.

kili
11-10-2008, 01:45 PM
A few months a go I would of agreed with you but. I probably picked the wrong industries to compare. Electrical engineering to cg probably does not work too well. I do think generally we are going to have to work for less and do more hours and maybe learn manderin at some point. The lop sided sided economic system which did favour us has gone for now and our jobs and shiny gadgets wont be subsidised by the 3rd and developing world as much.

switchblade327
11-10-2008, 01:46 PM
Ah yes but, we have to compete with China and India and so on.

Arguments along these lines have been historically used by employers to justify all manner of working conditions, all the way down to slavery.

kili
11-10-2008, 01:56 PM
Arguments along these lines have been historically used by employers to justify all manner of working conditions, all the way down to slavery.

I am very aware that, and have worked for places who squeeze as many hours out of you as possible. Slaves are what they want and what they have in developing countries. Definitely makes it hard for us to compete when companies are totally independent of national boundaries. The joys of globalisation, people think it will pull countries up to a similar level but it's just bringing everyone down.

Apologies I'm not feeling overly positive at the moment as we are just waiting for the accountant's scythe to do it's work here. f****in bean counters.

anobrin
11-10-2008, 02:18 PM
Arguments along these lines have been historically used by employers to justify all manner of working conditions, all the way down to slavery.


Quoted for Agreement!!

Ikaria
11-10-2008, 03:01 PM
Sorry to hear about the scythe, Kili. Been there. Still, switchblade327 really does have it right.

As for the current economic downturn and decreased ability to buy gadgets, it has a lot less to do with globalization than the western world's life beyond its means. We've borrowed more than we could afford, the financial institutions not only played along but encouraged the behavior and now it's simply the time to pay.

So, to reiterate -- none of this has anything to do with us working long hours. We did when things were good and we'll do it when the times are bad. Well, unless we finally decide to start paying attention.

robcat2075
11-10-2008, 05:36 PM
"race to the bottom", I think, is the term

andrewjohn81
11-12-2008, 12:46 PM
I thought the way around overtime was yearly salary, no? Everyone here works overtime and gets jack for it. Why would California be any different? Am I missing something.

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