What is the “Computer Professional Exemption?”

If you are a California computer technician or Illinois information technology worker, your employer may have told you that you are ineligible for overtime pay because of the Computer Professional Exemption.

Most of the time, this will be a bald-faced lie: the Computer Professional Exemption actually applies only to a small set of computer and IT professionals, those who:

  • Address and attempt to solve new types of problems every day, without using a set protocol or established guidelines; and
  • Perform tasks that require creativity and advanced problem-solving skills, such as coding or advanced system design or architecture; and
  • Either work independently or in a management position (i.e., supervising the work of other computer and IT employees)

Even a cursory examination of this list should be enough to show that most computer and IT professionals don't even come close to meriting the Computer Professional Exemption. In California and Illinois, computer technicians are generally low-level, non-management employees who are closely supervised. They must follow an established script or protocol when discharging their duties, and often perform intensely repetitive tasks (such as troubleshooting and updating software on individual users' computers, or maintaining computer systems and networks). If they are routinely denied overtime pay in California and Illinois, then their bosses are acting illegally.

If you are a computer or IT worker in Illinois who routinely works more than 40 hours per week and has been improperly classified as exempt, call the law firm of Kennedy Hodges LLP for a free consultation. Our employment and wage attorneys represent workers all across the United States. Call us toll-free at 888-449-2068 today, and we will send you a FREE copy of our book, The 10 Mistakes that Can Hurt Your Wage & Overtime Claim.

Galvin B. Kennedy
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Galvin Kennedy is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice to overtime and wage claims.