I work in IT, and my employer claims I am not entitled to overtime compensation. Should I pursue legal action?

In order to protect the rights of employees, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that many employees receive overtime Fingers Resting on a Keyboardcompensation when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The employees who are not entitled to overtime compensation are those who fall under one of the exemptions outlined in the Act. One such exemption is known as the Computer Professional Exemption. This exemption applies to workers whose job is primarily spent working independently or as a supervisor of other employers, and who spend their time creatively designing programs, writing code, or addressing new computer problems.

3 Questions to Consider With Regard to the Computer Professional Exemption as it Applies to Overtime Compensation

Determining whether your job falls under the Computer Professional Exemption is not always obvious. Many factors apply in order to decide whether your job is exempt or not. The following questions, however, are a good starting point for making this determination:

  1. Was your pay at least $455 per week?
  2. What is your job title? Is the title computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or something similar?
  3. What are your main duties? Do these duties relate to the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, design, documentation, creation, testing, analysis, or alteration of computer systems and programs, or the design, documentation, creation, testing, analysis or modification to computer programs relating to operating systems?

Depending on the answer to the above questions, you may be entitled to overtime compensation even though you work in the IT field. For example, if you conduct manual work on machines, you are not exempt from receiving overtime. Similarly, if your job requires you to use computers or computer software programs, but it is not directly related to the operation or programming or analysis of computer systems, you are still likely required to receive overtime compensation when you work more than 40 hours per week. In these cases, you may need to take legal action in order to obtain the compensation that you deserve. We encourage you to check out our free guide, The 10 Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage & Overtime Claim to learn more.


Don J. Foty
Connect with me
Don Foty is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.