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View Diary: Democratic Senator To MORE IT Workers: No More Pay For Your Overtime Work (262 comments)

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  •  Yes it is (1+ / 0-)
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    and I don't see why IT workers should be excluded at all, or most people for that matter. Piece by piece they are chipping away at the FLSA.

    I had already been a programmer for 8 years when the 1990 amendment was made, but I wasn't aware of it until 1997, when I started wondering why it is that I was exempt although I wasn't a manager and wasn't a professional person directing my own work. When I found it, I asked around and none of my co-workers were aware of it.

    Or cared, for that matter. Not a one. It was a mark of status to them not to be an hourly worker, a 9-5er, a clock-watcher, and uncommitted slacker. They just accepted unpaid overtime as the price of being a "professional".

    I don't think I minded the occasional overtime during the 80s. I wouldn't have demanded to be paid for it in any case, because no one did and I didn't want to ruin my career, but also because I was still basically working a 37.5 hour week back then, with overtime limited to an occasional end-of-project crunch or production emergency.  And because, although it was usually not hour-for-hour, we could and did take comp time. And our extra efforts were noted and appreciated as being above and beyond.

    I realized later that it had been right after 1990 that things started to change. The occasional production emergency, followed by taking some time off when it was resolved, turned into working in the middle of the night for days on end and being expected at 8 a.m. to work a full day the next day. It turned into a workday that never ended. They really needed a second and maybe third shift to handle 24-hour operations, but they had no intention of paying for them - hence the changes to the law.

    The last year that I was working they decided that the on-call period started on Friday night instead of Sunday night, meaning that if you thought you had a two week vacation that included both weekends, or a 4-day holiday weekend, you didn't. You were due back on Friday at 5 p.m.

    You have opera tickets that you paid $200 for six months ago? Tough. You want to be reimbursed? Tough. You have guests coming to your house for dinner? Tough.

    I haven't worked for four years but as you can see this still gets me into a state just thinking about it. I got to the point where I was angry all the time.

    It's a scam. They get to own you, for a fixed amount of money. What other "professional" would put up with that? Anyway, it's not like we're there saving people's lives or launching rockets or anything. All we are is workers whose time the company doesn't want to pay for. Is that a good reason to throw my theater tickets in the trash?

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 06:05:52 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Preach It Sistah! (1+ / 0-)
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      denise b

      Oh denise I feel your anger and frustration. My husband is in IT, so when he's on call, I'm on call (meaning I get woken up in the middle of the night when he does and I have to plan events around when he's going to be on call).

      His last manager decided to make the on call schedule run from Tuesday morning through Monday night. At first they all thought she was an idiot, until she explained that any time someone was on call when a Monday holiday was on the calendar, they could still go away for a long weekend and not have to worry about being back to be on call on Monday. I thought that was rather thoughtful, actually.

      A lot of things have changed in the workforce since the late '80s and early '90s. That's when "Reaganomics" started taking hold.  And even after he was out of office and Clinton was in, Republicans still controlled congress!

      Republicans have been chipping away at worker's right for so many decades that there are people alive who actually think working 40 hours a week is a privilege and not the norm. And get paid for it? Pshaw!

      We fought long and hard to win these rights from our corporate overlords and look where we are now.

      No more middle class.

      No more 40 hour work weeks (seriously, I don't know anyone whose week is that "short." Anyone).

      Very little employer paid health care.

      Almost no union representation anymore.

      It's like they blew us back to the early 1900s!

      But what makes me the most angry about this is that Democrats have been complicit this entire time! I have been screaming from the rafters for decades that there's no such thing as "trickle down" economics. YEARS!

      But even Democrats took it as gospel. Why haven't they been calling the lie that businesses are the "job creators" all this time? Why did it take massive, cross-country protests for people to start telling the truth in this country?

      Okay, I could goon and on, too, so I'll stop here. I just want us to start paying attention to every bit of legislation being introduced and lobbying either for or against it as a population so our voices are as loud and as strong as the paid lobbyists.

      Thanks again for your informative posts!

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