In this two-part article, unpaid overtime lawyers in Tampa are discussing “crunch culture” and violations of wage and hour laws. As technology reaches impressive new heights, often it comes at the sacrifice of hardworking developers, engineers, and other creatives that are mistreated in their workplace. From Silicon Valley to the video game industry, many talented professionals are forced to work long hours of unpaid overtime with few days off and no breaks. The result is mounting stress, sleep deprivation, fatigue, exhaustion, and even family problems. If you require an unpaid overtime lawyer in Tampa, contact us today.
Creative and Computer Professional Exemptions
Many video game and technology companies try to skirt by wage and hour laws by considering their employees to be salaried “creative professionals” which legally exempts them from overtime. The federally-governed Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) defines creative professionals as having a primary job task of “performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.” Another similar overtime exemption exists for “computer professionals.” Although positions like developer, graphic artist, or writer meet the FMLA job requirements as a creative or computer professional, many tech and video game companies fail to meet the standard to legally exempt these professionals from overtime.
How Crunch Culture Fails to Meet Overtime Exemption Standard
As we discussed in the last section, many developers, engineers, artists, and writers that work on video game projects are paid around minimum wage. In order for a computer professional to be exempt from overtime, they must earn a weekly salary of $455 or an hourly rate of more than $27. Similar requirements also apply to creative professionals.
Many young professionals starting out in a creative field are misclassified as salaried professionals and are actually independent contractors on a temporary contract. These creative professionals should be compensated an hourly rate for every hour they worked including time-and-a-half for overtime. Moreover, video game companies are not providing adequate breaks for these workers and often retaliate against employees that file a complaint.
Advice for Creative and Computer Professionals
If you work in a creative field in which you earn around the State of Florida minimum wage of $8.25 and you are exempt from overtime, contact an unpaid overtime lawyer in Tampa. We can review your employment status and determine whether or not your employer has violated federal or state wage and hour laws.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.