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Do High-Tech Workers Deserve Smaller Paychecks?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on February 22, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Do IT workers deserve overtime pay? The answer to that question may vary depending on if you're an employee -- or the employer.

And it's an issue that has worked its way into legislation. A new bill seeks to eliminate certain IT workers' ability to earn overtime.

It's not too surprising that certain high tech firms support the recently-introduced bill. These companies include heavyweights such as IBM and Intel. They believe that the statutory update is necessary in order to keep jobs stateside.

After all, workers abroad typically accept lower wages.

Some workers are none-too-pleased with the proposed bill. They simply see it as a way for companies to get more out of employees at a reduced cost, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bill would expand the list of those who are not entitled to overtime. It would include those whose primary duties are "securing, configuring, integrating and debugging computer systems," according to Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Senator Hagan is the one who introduced the bill to the legislature.

It could end up impacting thousands of workers.

The IT workers in question would be joining the likes of other computer professionals exempt from overtime. Computer programmers and analysts are not entitled to overtime pay under federal law.

Of course, the bill is not law yet. So for now IT workers remain unaffected. But it does spark the debate over whether or not they should be.

What do you think? Does paying IT workers overtime hurt the competitiveness of American workers? Or is it fair compensation for these jobs, which can sometimes come with long hours?

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