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CA Legislature Torpedoes IT Overtime

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the but-it's-for-their-own-good dept.

The Almighty Buck 555

An anonymous reader writes to mention that a recent piece of California legislation is enabling tech firms to avoid paying their workers overtime. Originally designed to deal with bonds for children's hospitals, bill AB10 was completely rewritten to prevent lawsuit damages over overtime nonpayment. "'This is the first time that the Legislature has done a takeaway of the rights of private-sector workers as part of the budget deal,' said Caitlin Vega of the California Labor Federation. 'We just think it is wrong. We think it will really hurt the groups of workers who will be expected to work through the weekend and not get paid.'"

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well (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169327)

Most of you IT people are libertarians, this is what a free market does to you. Don't like it? Find another job.

Re:well (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25169435)

Actually, I see a lot more democrats than libertarians. Also, IT has a shortage of good workers and high barriers for new employees, so if every worker left a company that refused to pay overtime, then the company would fail almost overnight. Any substantial company I've worked for has a code base that takes months to learn well enough to be truly effective at your job, and if you can't get bugfixes out faster than that, then you're screwed. For other companies, if they can't get new products out they're screwed. The free market cuts both ways, it's just that people get so caught up in the fact that the company is big that they fail to realize they have the company by its balls.

Re:well (3, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | about 6 years ago | (#25169679)

In my experience, the big companies have a lot more employees that lean democratic, while startups have a larger republican population than would be expected when compared to local demographics.

I work in the Boston area, which is pretty blue... My experiences at IBM, Compaq/HP and EMC were that the rank and file were almost exclusively of the democratic persuasion. At the last three startups I've worked for, though, the employees have been 80+% republican.

Re:well (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25169761)

That's really an interesting correlation. Do you know or suspect why that is?

Yes (3, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | about 6 years ago | (#25170003)

Democrats are joiners; they consider groups rather than individuals; they believe that centralized power in the hands of a large organization is the best way to run things, while the peons have no responsibility for themselves. They like to receive healthcare, pensions, and womb-to-tomb "care" from such an organization, and believe the rest of us should as well.

Republicans are more likely to be self-sufficient go-getters, to work at startups where they have a hand in the direction, focus, and success of their endeavor. They expect to have to earn everything they get.

Yes, I do expect to be modded down.

Re:well (5, Informative)

thermian (1267986) | about 6 years ago | (#25169905)

When I used to be a nurse (not many years ago), I built up six weeks worth of unpaid overtime, or 'time in lieu' as they called it, during a period of low staffing.

I was supposed to be either paid it or given an equal amount of time off, but what actually happened was they said it was too much, wiped it out and gave me a long weekend off. They hadn't seemed to mind the potential cost whilst working me half to death and taking advantage of the legal requirement to not leave patients without care to force me to work 20 hour shifts.

I left shortly after and gave up nursing, just one of many people leaving in droves due to this sort of thing and other pay related nonsense in the UK.
Now I'm a programmer If any employer tries that crap on me again I'd quit and go elsewhere.

Re:well (2, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 6 years ago | (#25169475)

Most of you IT people are libertarians

What?! Since when?

Re:well (2, Interesting)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | about 6 years ago | (#25169493)

Well, I don't know. Since it is a piece of legislation, I would suggest that the government may in fact have some role.

While I am not an anarchist, as you seem to want to paint libertarians, and believe that some government is necessary and in fact a good thing, if limited and fiercely controlled (yes, I realize the historical absurdity of that statement), if one wants to break it down into soundbites for the weak-minded, I would assert that this appears to be the action of an over-weening socialist government, not "the free marked" in action. It is GOVERNMENT that is preventing suit for collection of overtime, not the market-place.

Re:well (1, Insightful)

ivandavidoff (969036) | about 6 years ago | (#25169727)

I would assert that this appears to be the action of an over-weening socialist government, not "the free marked" in action. It is GOVERNMENT that is preventing suit for collection of overtime, not the market-place.

Not over-weening socialist government, but political lackeys of Big Tech. Either way, however, your point is excellently made: this has nothing to do with free markets, and everything to do with government mucking about in business. Us IT Classical Liberals oppose mandated overtime; but taking away our ability to sue is like castration.

Re:well (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 6 years ago | (#25169991)

It is GOVERNMENT that is preventing suit for collection of overtime, not the market-place.

I think the uppercase word should be suit, not government. Government is not preventing you from negotiating for overtime pay with your employer. Free market is still operating. What they are preventing is a lawsuits on a premise which is absurd to start with, i.e. that you can get a job with an employer that doesn't pay overtime, work overtime while knowing that you won't get paid for it, then sue the employer. A real libertarian would say if overtime pay is what you're after, a) don't take that job, or b) don't work overtime, of c) if the employer insist you work overtime anyway, find another job

Re:well (1)

PontifexMaximus (181529) | about 6 years ago | (#25169767)

What the hell does free market have to do with anything? Dumbass. If they don't pay you overtime (as an hourly employee) then don't work it. They cannot fire you over it. At least not in my part of the US they can't.

Good (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169333)

Good - I didn't want to work those weekends anyway, and now I have a good reason not to do it.

It's time to start a union how long before more st (-1, Troll)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 6 years ago | (#25169345)

It's time to start a union how long before more stuff comes up that cut's you pay.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 6 years ago | (#25169417)

No thanks, I much prefer individual bargaining than collective bargaining. I'm making more money and working at a vastly cooler company than ANY unionized employee could possibly be.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25169481)

You don't even need an industry wide union. If EA's employees all walked out while they were being abused and picketed their offices, then there's no way they'd be able to find enough programmers to cross the picket line. If your company doesn't treat you well, go elsewhere. If there's nowhere else to go, start your own company and steal all the best programmers who are being treated like crap. With such a disparity between programmer skills and knowledge of the code base, the programming department has a lot of power.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (0, Flamebait)

dwayner79 (880742) | about 6 years ago | (#25169535)

Seriously?

Unions in this country have long outlived their usefulness.

Besides, if employers made reasonable demands of the unionized employees, /. readership would go down... come on admit it... how many are at work right now.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (1)

eleuthero (812560) | about 6 years ago | (#25169693)

As someone reading this at work, albeit on my lunchbreak, it would seem to me that slashdot's "news" helps me stay informed of the larger IT culture (and occasionally actually gives me helpful tips towards doing my job better).

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (2, Insightful)

dwayner79 (880742) | about 6 years ago | (#25169771)

As someone who has union employees, try making that fly in the union contract.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169747)

Outlived their usefulness? Oh really? That must be why IT workers are getting paid for the overtime work. Oh wait....

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (0)

ivan256 (17499) | about 6 years ago | (#25169577)

If you don't suck, the job market for developers is still beyond fantastic, even with the economy how it is right now. The only reason to start a union is if you're too lazy to go find a new job, or your skills are too poor to think you can get one. Those two types of people are why most people in the industry want nothing to do with unions. Why should we protect your lazy/sorry ass while we're working hard? Hmm?

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 6 years ago | (#25169669)

It is not laziness to want to eat dinner with one's family. Nor is it laziness to want to spend the weekend caring for them.

It is ridiculous to think that the company owns so much of your life that work should take the highest priority in one's life.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (1)

SABME (524360) | about 6 years ago | (#25169755)

AMEN! If I had mod points, I would give them all to you.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 6 years ago | (#25169793)

Take your strawman and go home please.

My point was that if your work environment is sub-satisfactory, you're a technology worker, and you're good at your job, you can go find a new job with conditions you approve of without too much trouble. Not that you need to work insane hours and give up your family life.

Unions are great if you're in an industry where geography or market dynamics mean that you don't have a choice as to who your employer is, and said employer can take advantage of that monopoly. As software developers, we don't have anythin even close to that situation. If you can't find a job that fits your lifestyle, chances are you're either lazy, or not very good.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 years ago | (#25169883)

You can refuse to work beyond scope. If you bend the the corporate slave drivers, you've got nobody else to blame but yourself. If you don't like what is expected of you, then leave. If you're good, you should be able to find another job. If not, well. then they can depend upon you to work evenings and weekends.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 6 years ago | (#25169901)

As someone whose girl friend works for the state of California, I can tell you that those unions are there for a reason. Without those union contracts, the state would just lay people off for no apparent reason. Although the contracts do protect the slackers to a certain extent, that small amount of bad is seriously outweighed by the good of protecting competent employees from rash actions by state legislators. There are a lot of state employees getting paid jack shit to do some pretty important jobs. I know some of the IT guys there. They are limping along two decade old Novell networks because the state can't find the budget to upgrade them. They don't get paid much of anything, but at least they have job security. In this economy, that is worth a lot.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | about 6 years ago | (#25169955)

A non-bad analogy post at the right time. I knew there was a reason you were awesome.

Re:It's time to start a union how long before more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169785)

If you don't suck, the job market for developers is still beyond fantastic, even with the economy how it is right now.

I guess the same thing could be said for minimum wage, healthcare, vacations and the possibility of being authorized to eat once a day in order to work.

Re:It's time to start a union, blah blah blah (1)

dsa94546 (737411) | about 6 years ago | (#25169969)

The law may say that they don't HAVE to pay OT - but that doesn't mean they CAN'T pay overtime. Many of the contracts I get do allow for time and a half even though I'm well over the maximum hourly rate that qualifies for it. It all comes down to what kind of deal you negotiate with your employer. We don't need unions, IT workers need to grow a pair and stop allowing themselves to be taken advantage of. You can always find another job. The smart companies in California have learned that keeping workers happy means getting better productivity out of them. The not so smart ones will always have trouble finding good workers with a low enough self esteem to keep in indentured servitude.

You mean... (5, Funny)

ivandavidoff (969036) | about 6 years ago | (#25169347)

you can get paid for overtime?

Re:You mean... (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 years ago | (#25169441)

you can get paid for overtime?

Nope. And, now, apparently, you can't sue over that fact any more. :-P

Cheers

Re:You mean... (2, Insightful)

cbrocious (764766) | about 6 years ago | (#25169461)

Sure you can, if your employment contract says you get overtime. Most companies are still going to pay for overtime regardless of whether the government tells them to or not.

Re:You mean... (2, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 years ago | (#25169647)

Sure you can, if your employment contract says you get overtime. Most companies are still going to pay for overtime regardless of whether the government tells them to or not.

Well, the specific case I can think of was Apple. They were demanding increasingly long hours (as I recall) but not paying additional amounts for it.

The problem is, if it's too open ended in terms of how much your employer can demand unpaid overtime, then it'll just get out of control. If they're not going to be required to pay it, it should be bounded in terms of how much they can ask for.

The problem, is certain professions have been deemed to have a very expandable amount of required extra time, without really giving anything back to the employee. IT, of course, being one of them.

Cheers

Re:You mean... (-1, Troll)

cbrocious (764766) | about 6 years ago | (#25169865)

There's no reason you can't renegotiate your contract or go elsewhere and get overtime. Companies will use overtime as a way of competing with others for employees and better jobs will result, as they tend to.

Try science (4, Informative)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 6 years ago | (#25169957)

If you think IT is bad, try biomedical sciences, medicine, and science academia.

The concept of overtime does not exist for >90% of the workers in these fields. It's not uncommon to ASSUME that a 12-hour day is normal, at 6 days per week.

And yes, I am including students... because if your training extends into your 30s, you're an employee.

Oh, and by the way, ask your nearest ER resident (or even a junior attending) when was the last time they had a 40-hour week. Most of the time, the answer will be "high school".

Re:You mean... (1)

IT Slave (1259706) | about 6 years ago | (#25169543)

It's even more interesting that you have to make a law, because of the rampant overtime out there...selfish IT workers, shame on you.

Re:You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169993)

You can sue in federal court and/or file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor unless there is a federal exemption for paying you overtime as well. Now if the State of California dropped its requirement to keep hourly track of the IT staff then the company could contract you as a salaried employee which would exempt you for the most part from getting mandatory overtime pay. With you contracted as an hourly employee, then federal law should supercede state law and my understanding of it is that you would be entitled to mandatory overtime for anything past 40 hours a week.

IANAL, nor an expert on state and federal employment regulations. Maybe someone who is will comment here.

Re:You mean... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169453)

you can get paid for overtime?

The beauty of this industry is that although you can't get paid for overtime, but you can get paid for reading Slashdot.

That's a pretty good trade in my book.

Re:You mean... (4, Funny)

ivandavidoff (969036) | about 6 years ago | (#25169561)

The beauty of this industry is that although you can't get paid for overtime, but you can get paid for reading Slashdot. That's a pretty good trade in my book.

Concur. Let's not rock the boat.

Re:You mean... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25169699)

Of course. If I didn't get paid overtime, I'd just be working for free. Company policy: first 40 hours of the week is free, then they pay me $10 / hr. It is, after all, the industry standard.

Before Anyone Starts Blaming Republicans (-1, Flamebait)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | about 6 years ago | (#25169351)

take note of the fact that California's state legislature is dominated by hard-line, left-wing Democrats. So much for them being pro-worker, huh?

You still think there's a difference? (1)

MacDork (560499) | about 6 years ago | (#25169739)

They aren't D or R. They are the ruling elite. What makes you think any of them are pro-worker when they remain complicit in human trafficking and wage slavery. [projectcensored.org] There is only one party in America. You are given a choice to provide the illusion of freedom. Show them you see through the charade. Boycott the vote in 2008.

Thank you (-1, Flamebait)

cbrocious (764766) | about 6 years ago | (#25169363)

This type of thing should be left to employers and not mandated by the government. Thank you for putting some control back where it belongs.

Re:Thank you (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 years ago | (#25169601)

This type of thing should be left to employers and not mandated by the government. Thank you for putting some control back where it belongs.

If we put control over everything in the hands of the employers, they'd all decide to screw over the employees. You now have to work 200 hours/week for 80% less money -- because we said so.

The reason that government mandates this is to provide minimum standards, and not create abjectly crappy working conditions for people. You know, try to improve people's lives instead of making them indentured servants.

Of course, this is the point where you say that if you don't like it, you're free to leave and get another job. To which I'll respond that just leads us in the race to the bottom of crappy employment standards, and undoes several generations of changes in working conditions.

Setting the standard to whoever is willing to work in the worst conditions for the least money doesn't benefit any of us. It treats people like commodities, and devalues both their work, and their existence.

If all of the jobs are crappy and trying to screw you over, we all lose.

Cheers

Re:Thank you (1)

cbrocious (764766) | about 6 years ago | (#25169709)

I disagree entirely. Overtime legislation is akin to forcing employers to pay for health care. I believe that employers of full-time workers should be handled by the companies, but it's not a government issue.

You have to realize that there's not exactly a surplus of good IT workers. Companies have to compete for the good employees, and you can be certain that overtime is going to be one of the ways they draw people in.

You see it as a step backwards, I see it as a step in the right direction.

Re:Thank you (1)

cbrocious (764766) | about 6 years ago | (#25169877)

Erg, "I believe that health-care of full-time workers..." not "I believe that employers of full-time workers..."

Re:Thank you (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25169637)

Who modded you "insightful", someone else who didn't even read the summary?

You think it's OK to work someone for free? You actually believe that if I work for you and you don't pay me I shouldn't be able to sue you?

No wonder the economy is headed down the toilet; it's people like you who run things who are running them into the ground.

Re:Thank you (1)

cbrocious (764766) | about 6 years ago | (#25169781)

You have the choice of either renegotiating your employment contract or going elsewhere, where overtime is paid. Companies will use overtime as a way to compete with other companies for employees -- we'll end up with better jobs in the end.

DINOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169925)

This type of thing should be left to employers and not mandated by the government. Thank you for putting some control back where it belongs.

Correct. The neo-con fascists-in-sheeps'-clothing initiative has been very effective at getting their agents to infiltrate and dilute the ranks of the reasonable and civil-minded in this country and pervert and distort their aims. Well done, right-wing slimeballs.

Hurts the economy, too (5, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | about 6 years ago | (#25169365)

We think it will really hurt the groups of workers who will be expected to work through the weekend and not get paid

Not only that, but as this legislation allowed massive abuse of employee's time, the state will suffer as skilled workers start looking elsewhere for employment.

Re:Hurts the economy, too (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | about 6 years ago | (#25169667)

How would that hurt the economy, though? People are always looking for better jobs. Companies who want the best employees have to offer the best conditions. Does this legislation say it's ok to not pay Employees? Yes. Does that mean companies will do it? No. If you piss off your IT staff enough and they leave, you're going to be in serious operational trouble.

Re:Hurts the economy, too (1)

EllisDees (268037) | about 6 years ago | (#25169851)

Not only that, but the state is no longer going to be able to collect income taxes on the overtime that isn't going to be paid now.

Re:Hurts the economy, too (1)

EricWright (16803) | about 6 years ago | (#25169927)

You assume too much about other states. I've been routinely working nights and weekends for the past few months and I don't get paid a thing. Blame the "Fair Labor Standards Act" categorizing us as 'exempt'. I fail to see anything F in FLSA ... oh, wait... but that's a different F.

Unreal... (3, Funny)

teknopurge (199509) | about 6 years ago | (#25169369)

Why is Arnold not doing something about this?

Re:Unreal... (1)

halsver (885120) | about 6 years ago | (#25169447)

Arnold might have to pay his own IT workers overtime! California is in a financial crisis, it just doesn't seem that way relative to the rest of the world!

PS Amend for Arnold! 8)

Think about the poor companies! (1)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | about 6 years ago | (#25169375)

The tech companies not making enough money. Poor, poor Apple with its money problems.

Re:Think about the poor companies! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#25169631)

Don't forget about Google [wikipedia.org] .

It's a balance (1, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 6 years ago | (#25169411)

A balance must be struck between the freedom of each individual and the responsibility of each individual to support colleagues.

By joining a union, an individual gives up personal freedom and the opportunity for exceptional advancement. But he gains the power of collective bargaining and the benefit of a standardized work environment.

It surprises me to see how a group of individuals so smart in some ways would not also see the benefit inherent in joining together to avoid being subject to exactly the type of persecution described in the article.

Re:It's a balance (4, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | about 6 years ago | (#25169499)

You basically answered your own question. Those who excel (or at least believe they do) have no incentive to give up their freedom and opportunities for advancement to protect those who don't perform as well.

Re:It's a balance (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 6 years ago | (#25169605)

Ah, but even those who excel will be subject to long hours, weekend work, and other working conditions that the company demands. It is the nature of the creative workflow that makes it difficult to determine when an employee will be most productive. Therefore, as time on a project runs out, all team members are pressed into working those long hours to make up for "wasted" time.

Even if an exceptional engineer were to leave, the work environment at most competitive companies is similar across the board, so there is little net benefit for the engineer.

Re:It's a balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169697)

That's because they adhere to the ideal of meritocracy in business, despite reams upon reams of tales where such things do not exist in a workplace, tech or otherwise.

Ideology is trumping realism and pragmatism. Now your employers can make you work late without pay. What happens if a majority of employers take advantage of this legislation? What will you do?

The history of modern corporatism (not necessarily capitalism) is fraught with incidents where a legislative change enabled a potentially negative result, and that result happened to a degree beyond anyone's imagination (see: current credit/solvency crisis)

Re:It's a balance (1)

ins0m (584887) | about 6 years ago | (#25169733)

With the plethora of "lone-wolf programmer" articles on here, you'd think this would be more obvious.

The antisocial, overprotective nature of programmers or self-styled "hackers" isn't necessarily wrong. Patent lawyers essentially do the same thing these guys do, at a smaller scale: "I did it. Give me credit! Neener Neener!"

It's ultimately puerile, but for people who generate information, recognition is a very important aspect of whatever opus they're currently constructing. People who wish to advance through the ranks are certainly in the system, but people who are information architects have a certain need to be recognized for their achievements.

That's oft times why the more juvenile refuse to work in team projects; even if it's a pat on the back, they want to stand out and be recognized. By organizing into a collective, that sense of identity is usually lost, so that's why you get the reticence.

Re:It's a balance (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25169753)

By joining a union, an individual gives up personal freedom and the opportunity for exceptional advancement.

That's a myth, unless you're in the Teamsters (I was in the Teamsters when I worked for Disney in the early '80s, the union and management were in bed together). In my present job, the union HELPS YOU gain advancement, even into management if you wish.

As to giving up freedom, you do that when you get a job, union or non-union.

Like companies, there are good unions and bad unions. A bad union is a waste of money, a good union is a good investment.

The unions should start trying to gain footholds in other countries, and should be actively trying to expand their bases.

Re:It's a balance (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25169917)

Unions help when there's a surplus of workers in the market, so that the workers have to use extraordinary means to force the company to improve their condition. For instance, when you're working in a car factory, the barrier to getting new employees is fairly low, just teach them how to use a few tools, teach them where everything goes, maybe take a week to train them. In programming, you have to sift through ~5 programmers to get one that's worth keeping, then it takes them a few weeks to even be able to do simple fixes, and months to be able to implement a major fix without introducing substantial new bugs. If you remove any source of knowledge about the code base, you can multiply those numbers by 2.

The existing market has a hard time with employees leaving for other companies that promise better pay and working conditions, and that's with individual negotiation. If half of the company's programmers (assuming that it's got a similar number of experienced and talented guys) were to threaten to strike, the company would almost certainly cave. If a few companies' worth of programmers unionized, it could bring the industry to its knees with collective bargaining.

The reason they don't do this is the same reason that car factory workers outside of Michigan think twice about unionizing: when you force the pay and benefits to an artificially high level, then it's easier for competition from areas that aren't unionized to take over for you.

Do the lawmakers get overtime pay? (1)

melted (227442) | about 6 years ago | (#25169431)

That's what I wonder. If they do, how about cutting that as well?

Re:Do the lawmakers get overtime pay? (2, Interesting)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | about 6 years ago | (#25169591)

News reports claimed that the legislature would benefit from the budget stalemate due to the overtime.

I'd love to see a state constitutional amendment to the effect that if the budget is not approved by June 1, all statewide elected officials shall forfeit all pay, and any person hired by their office shall receive the federally mandated minimum wage, with no chance of reimbursement, until the budget is passed.

The bit about "person hired by their office" is to spread the pain. Lets face it, in CA, most legislators tend to be relatively wealthy. But when Assemblyman X's secretary starts bitching at him because she doesn't get paid, then he realizes the pain he's causing.

I gave up working overtime years back (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25169455)

I also happen to produce the most robust code, and seem to at least match everyone else for productivity.

Funny that.

Author's name not on it. (3, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | about 6 years ago | (#25169459)

You can tell if a bill is bad if the author of the bill's name is not on it.

Apparently, the author(s) were ashamed of the bill.

get what you pay for.... (5, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | about 6 years ago | (#25169471)

I work 9 to 5. I work HARD 9 to 5, but at 5 I log out and go home. If you want me to spend extra time at work then we need to do some negotiation for a new contract and you're going to be giving me more money.

I am not going to give up time with my family so some middle manager can get some slaps on his back for bringing in the project on a date he never should have agreed to in the first place. What ever happened to accountability? oh right.... they get $700bn bail outs.

Re:get what you pay for.... (5, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 years ago | (#25169663)

I am not going to give up time with my family so some middle manager can get some slaps on his back ...

And therein lies the problem. You may not be willing to, but it's almost certain that someone else (probably someone with no kids yet) will be willing to waste his time in that manner. And he's your competition. And new replicas of him are graduated every year.

Re:get what you pay for.... (1)

Azarael (896715) | about 6 years ago | (#25169889)

Personally, I would be a bit suspicious employing someone who is freely willing to give away their time. First, how long are they going to be around before they finally burn out? Or, will the person change their mind at a later date and decide that they need to be compensated for that past work (perhaps be under working later on)?. Or perhaps they're only treating the job as a tie over until something better comes along?

I would say that there really aren't many people who are willing to put their full skill behind a for profit venture when they aren't properly compensated and don't expect to be in the future. The only people you get in that group are extreme idealists, who are probably just inexperienced (for now) and those who feel they don't have any choice but to stay. To me this sounds like a recipe for a disgruntled and ineffectual workforce.

Re:get what you pay for.... (4, Insightful)

spinkham (56603) | about 6 years ago | (#25169947)

There are 2 ways to be paid: Based on Effort, or based on Results.
By and large, great employees want to be judged on results, and mediocre ones want to be judges based on effort. The problem is in many fields (including most IT jobs) it is difficult to turn results into a number you can be paid based on, so the industry by and large rewards effort instead.
That's one of the main reasons I work for a small company: We value results over effort. If I can get my job done in 1/2 the time allotted, that's great. If it takes me 2x as long, sucks for me. So it puts positive pressure on my to improve and be more productive in less time, the exact opposite of the pressure at most companies.

Re:get what you pay for.... (1)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | about 6 years ago | (#25169959)

Very true. I work on specific projects. These projects have explicitly spelled out objectives, timelines, et al. Should I fail to meet those I have a penalty. Then again if you don't like the fact that I might not show up to work for 2 weeks, you should have read the contract. I've gotten into more than one pissing contest with a person that would style themselves my "supervisor" thinking they could dictate terms to me.

I'm here to a specific job. This is what I need from your company / employees. This is the date it will be completed by. These are the benchmark dates. I get paid the same if I work 20 hours or 100 hours a week. I do what's necessary to complete my contract on-time / early and under budget to earn my bonus.

Still, more than a few times, I've wished I could tell the power hungry nozzle to STFU and try to manage his employees a little less effectively than they already are. Can't do that of course. That would be highly impolitic and negatively impact my ability to get contracts in the future. Even my pissing contests have to be polite. So even a contract employee has a negative balance of power.

Re:get what you pay for.... (2, Interesting)

cowscows (103644) | about 6 years ago | (#25170023)

That's only true to a point. Once you get some experience tucked into your belt, there are employers out there who understand what that is worth. It may limit the number of companies that you have to choose from, but there are a lot of them out there.

If you've got around five years of experience or so and you're worried about being replaced by a fresh college grad, then the place you're working probably has all sorts of priority issues, and you probably hate being there.

Most of what you hear about in IT is the super-enthusiastic companies where everyone works 80 hours per week because they love what they're doing, or the giant corporate "dilbert" firms where everyone is miserable and does as little work as they can get away with. But you're not going to convince me that there aren't lots of smaller companies with decent leadership who can work hard but don't feel the need to march their employees to death. I have a few friends with jobs in IT like that around here, and this part of the country is by no means any sort of tech-wonderland.

And if I'm wrong and your only choice is a death march of misery, then seriously, go find a new career. You can always code on the weekends.

Re:get what you pay for.... (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | about 6 years ago | (#25169821)

And I won't mind taking your job, and staying those 2 hours. Maybe bestbuy is hiring, I hear at end of shift there you go home on time.

Re:get what you pay for.... (1, Troll)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#25169953)

I am not going to give up time with my family so some middle manager can get some slaps on his back for bringing in the project on a date he never should have agreed to in the first place. What ever happened to accountability? oh right.... they get $700bn bail outs.

These troubled times are going to be interesting. Apologists for America's unrestricted capitalism argue that top talent demands top dollar and that market forces are justifying these outrageous salaries. "Obviously, Company X thinks Chairman Z is worth eleventy billion gigabucks because they wouldn't pay him that much if he weren't worth it." People are starting to realize that the market is a rigged game, just like a casino -- no, wait, it is a casino. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be, maybe it didn't used to be, but it is now. This bailout is being condemned something like 300 to 1 I hear, congresscritters are getting their ears chewed off by irate constituents.

it'll be interesting to see what the consequences are. In my view, the Republicans are the evil scumfucks who directly pushed for this kind of shit and the Democrats have been codependent enablers, some of them guilty of doing nothing to oppose this evil while others were as actively engaged in it as the Republicans. The vichy Dems responsible for cringing and cowering along with the Republicans should be held just as accountable and bear the more dire of consequences.

Overtime as a compensation (1)

komische_amerikaner (1365847) | about 6 years ago | (#25169477)

After not having read TFA, I would suspect the suspension is only for overtime compensation, not an outright termination of payment for hours worked. IANAL, but this may fly in the face of Federal Law for OT Comp. Basically, Title IX says (paraphrasing, don't have reference in front of me) that any exempt, hourly wage earner should be compensated by means determined for working more than 40 hours in a week. Normally, this meant extra pay, not forcing work beyond 40 hours without being paid as I understand from the synopsis. They would still have to be paid at least their normal wage. Sounds like CA may be in violation of Federal Labor Law, but again IANAL.

Re:Overtime as a compensation (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 6 years ago | (#25169731)

Title IX says (paraphrasing, don't have reference in front of me) that any exempt, hourly wage earner should be compensated by means determined for working more than 40 hours in a week.

But I've never met an IT worker in California who is paid an hourly wage. Pretty much everybody who has a job in an office building is paid a flat monthly salary. (If you're a contractor and you're billing hours, that's different -- it's up to you to negotiate your own rates.)

CA torpedoes overtime (1)

kawabago (551139) | about 6 years ago | (#25169507)

Does this make America the Land of the (work for) Free?

Re:CA torpedoes overtime (1)

haystor (102186) | about 6 years ago | (#25169583)

Free as in overtime.

Why work it then? (2, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | about 6 years ago | (#25169523)

If you are not getting paid for your time or getting equivalent time-off in-lieu of, why would you work it?

This may sound simplistic... (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | about 6 years ago | (#25169551)

...but, just quit and get a job in another state. Why subject yourself to a job that you hate to work that much? The laws in Cali obviously favor the companies and not the workers. So...move. The cost of living is a lot cheaper anywhere else. If you are a good coder, you will get a job.

Re:This may sound simplistic... (1)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#25169673)

...but, just quit and get a job in another state.

Where they still won't get guaranteed overtime?

Re:This may sound simplistic... (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | about 6 years ago | (#25169799)

...but, just quit and get a job in another state.

Where they still won't get guaranteed overtime?

Where you can at least sue when you aren't paid for overtime. Some states have much friendlier labor than Cali.

Re:This may sound simplistic... (1)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#25170011)

Where you can at least sue when you aren't paid for overtime. Some states have much friendlier labor than Cali.

You want to go and correct this fella [slashdot.org] about that little detail? To be precise, from TFA:

For the industry, which apparently has sought the change for several years, the issue is not so clear cut. California, they note, is the only state to require hourly tracking of computer professionals.

Strike! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169553)

Well just because we may not be in a union doesn't mean we can't agree to go on strike over this matter.

The industry would be crippled if all California IT workers stopped showing up for a while.

Muahahahah

IT sector is the McDonald's of tech industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169571)

A coworker of mine said this about five years ago: "IT workers are the janitors of the tech industry." I didn't believe him at the time, but it's been proven true. Get out while you can!

If you could come in on Sunday too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169573)

that'd be great. Thanks Peter.

Before you get too bent out of shape... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169593)

TFA also notes that California is the only state that requires tracking the hours of salaried IT workers in the first place.

In other words, this bill makes CA just like everywhere else in the US.

I know they must hate that. :)

Cry me a river (0, Flamebait)

PCM2 (4486) | about 6 years ago | (#25169621)

The bill explicitly exempts those "computer professionals" who make at least $75,000 annually doing full-time work. I should be heartbroken that they're not entitled to overtime pay?

Yes, yes, we all know that IT guys toil long hours in the datacenter. Guess what? Salespeople have to travel all the time and often spend weeks away from their families. Operations managers need to crunch budgets and give presentations at the last minute. Team leaders are expected to spend their weekends doing "team-building exercises." Everybody has to work a lot in today's America.

Don't like it? Negotiate yourself a better deal. Being exempt from overtime status is a two-way street. On the one hand, you don't get paid for the long hours you put in. On the other hand, your employer can't make you report how many hours you worked. If you find you're working too many hours, maybe the problem is you. Either you're playing the game of "I don't want to be the first one to leave," or maybe you're working too much because you're not accurately budgeting your workload, or maybe you're just not that good at your job. If they're paying you $75,000 a year, you ought to be smart enough to figure out how to fix the problem.

Re:Cry me a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169857)

On the other hand, your employer can't make you report how many hours you worked

Really? I'll remember that on Monday when I fill out my report in the time tracking system.

Re:Cry me a river (1)

IT Slave (1259706) | about 6 years ago | (#25169875)

Obviously, you have no clue what it's like to be an IT consultant expected to average at least 70 hours a week and doing what needs to be done, while the Master still cashes the check for the Billable Hours. Salespeople have expense accounts for dinners and how many customers expect you to work through the night and expect a status report in the morning...hmmm...Let's really get to the source...Salespeople who promise things that have no idea what it takes to finish a project, or saying yes to changes and expecting it take the time regardless of the effort involved. Been there done that...let the Free Market be Free, no ridiculous laws.

Re:Cry me a river (3, Interesting)

DeionXxX (261398) | about 6 years ago | (#25169881)

Since when is $75k a large amount of money? These people aren't rich or wealthy. That's middle class. Which mean both parents need to still work to afford a house anywhere near where they work, and the cars to get them. If you have younger kids, then there's baby-sitting and extra insurance and crap like that.

$75k is barely making it in most markets (especially California).

Rent in most places in California is 1 bed room for $1k+.

Re:Cry me a river (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25169989)

Salespeople have to travel all the time and often spend weeks away from their families.

Computer professionals don't have to.

Operations managers need to crunch budgets and give presentations at the last minute.

If this involves overtime, they should get paid overtime for that.

Team leaders are expected to spend their weekends doing "team-building exercises."

They should get paid overtime for that.

On the one hand, you don't get paid for the long hours you put in. On the other hand, your employer can't make you report how many hours you worked.

Not much of a trade off is it?

. Either you're playing the game of "I don't want to be the first one to leave," or maybe you're working too much because you're not accurately budgeting your workload,

It's most likely that a manager is putting pressure on the employee. This is an unfair bargaining position. The employer is essentially offering the employee to work late or lose their home and be unable to afford to eat.

Re:Cry me a river (2, Interesting)

EllisDees (268037) | about 6 years ago | (#25170025)

First, $75k is not a lot of money in California. Second, anyone who plays the "I don't want to be the first one to leave" game is a first order moron. I leave every day at 5:00 on the nose, and if something breaks on the weekends or the evening, I work that many fewer hours during the week. 40 hours is the deal, and that's all that's fair for both sides.

It's in the programmers' best interest though (1)

.sig (180877) | about 6 years ago | (#25169645)

Supporters of the new law note that "the tracking of hours generally is anathema to the creative and free thinking computer professional employees"

Thanks a lot

Re:It's in the programmers' best interest though (1)

EricWright (16803) | about 6 years ago | (#25169961)

Yeah, there's a world of difference between tracking

*got in at 8, took 1 hour for lunch, left at 5

and

*got in at 8, answered email for 27 minutes, prepared data for QA for 43 minutes, fixed defects 27, 38, and 102 for 1 hour, 14 minutes...

Another reason to vote these bums out (1)

fearanddread (836731) | about 6 years ago | (#25169683)

Check out the approval rating [sfgate.com] for the CA legislature. Bush style numbers. Can't be bothered to get the budget done on time. Complete failure. It's absolutely time to flush the entire legislature and start over.

The way I see it... (1)

ruckc (111190) | about 6 years ago | (#25169829)

The way I see it is that if I am doing my job I shouldn't have to come in on the weekends. If it is my job to guarantee uptime then its my job to put precautions in place to guarantee that uptime. If due to budget, oversight, or other unavoidable reasons that don't allow me to guarantee that uptime then I will find another job. There are plenty of jobs, especially for people with the experience to fill them if you know how to look. For instance, my current job pays me seven days a week, 12 hours a day to ensure uptime. They pay me very very well to ensure this uptime and since its my responsibilty our uptime is in the 99.999 range. I don't get woken up at night either now.

mod 30wn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25169945)

the trade off (5, Insightful)

fred fleenblat (463628) | about 6 years ago | (#25169949)

I've worked some unpaid overtime in my life, but the amount is miniscule in comparison to the amount of time I've spent during normal working hours surfing the web, reading usenet, emailing my buddies, checking sports scores, ordering stuff from amazon, everything the internet allows. Easily two to three hours a day on an ongoing basis.

I just can't get mad about a couple hours of evening work or blowing a sunday afternoon in the office once a month when I'm just going to read slashdot while waiting for a batch job to finish.

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