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Do Employers Have to Pay Web Developers Overtime Under California Law?

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Web design and coding is a high-demand, high-paying industry. As many software companies are based in California, there are many state laws that allow employers to exempt web developers from earning overtime pay. However, these computer programmers must be paid on a salary and must meet strict requirements in order to be denied overtime.

Under California law, programmers may meet the mandatory overtime exemption based on:

Salary Level:

Software developers must meet minimum hourly and salary rates in order to be exempt from overtime. Currently, developers who earn more than $39.90 per hour and earn $83,132.93 or more for every year of full-time work may be exempt. These minimum hourly and salary rates are adjusted every January 1st to accommodate the costs of inflation and increased cost of living. However, California has a 4 year statute of limitations. This means that you can bring a claim even if  you worked up to 4 years ago.  The minimum hourly rate was less in the last 4 years.

Job Description:

A California employee can be considered a computer software professional if he or she develops, designs, documents, analyzes, tests, creates, or modifies computer systems or programs, or if he or she is involved in applied systems analysis.

Primary Work:

Any worker who spends 50 percent or more of work time on software design or analysis and makes more than the required salary will likely qualify for an administrative exemption.

Clients smiling with their settlement checks from a California unpaid wages case.
Clients that are happy they got their check in a California Wage Case

All IT Workers Are Not Automatically Exempt

It is important to note that this exemption primarily affects computer software developers instead of those who create computer hardware. In addition, some project managers may still be subject to overtime law, even if their team members are exempt, and information employees and help desk workers are usually nonexempt.


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If you think you should be paid overtime or have been denied fair wages by your employer,

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President of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego

Bill was elected President of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. 

Listed as amicus counsel on over 20 California Supreme Court cases

Bill is listed as amicus counsel on over 20 California Supreme Court cases and Bill wrote two winning amicus briefs for important recent wage cases before the California Supreme Court.

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Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.

William Turley
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