2009 Hourly Rate Increase For Computer Software Employees in California

California Labor Code section 515.5 exempts certain employees in the computer software field from the state overtime requirements provided certain criteria are met. Historically, this exemption was only available for employees whose compensation exceeded a minimum hourly rate, which was set annual by the Division of Labor Statistics and Research (DLSR). Effective September 10, 2008, Assembly Bill 10 took effect, which expanded the exemption to include employees who are paid on a salary basis, as long as the salary exceeds certain monthly and annual amounts.

The DLSR has announced the applicable minimum rates for employees to qualify for California’s computer professional exemption. Effective January 1, 2009, the new hourly rate for computer software employees is $37.94 and the minimum annual salary exemption is $79,050.00, which must be paid in amounts no less than $6,587.50 per month. To qualify for the exemption, an employee’s compensation must equal or exceed these amounts and the employee must satisfy each of the elements set forth in section 515.5 of the Labor Code. The employee must be:

• Primarily engaged in duties that consist of at least one of the following: (1) application of system analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications; (2) the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications; and (3) the documentation, testing creation, or modification of computer programs related to the design of software or hardware for computer systems; and
• Highly skilled and proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering.

This blog entry was authored by Stacey James.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.