Monday, July 30, 2012

Do today's "salaried" IT workers get overtime or expenses when on-call?


As many readers know, I last “enjoyed” stable information technology employment at ING-ReliaStar through the end of 2001, for about three months after 9/11.  Most of my career was that of a “salaried professional” in a mainframe area, with a modest move to client-server in a support role for the last two years.

Typically, the official work week was Monday-Friday and theoretically 40 hours, with a great deal of on-call rotation to support nightly (and especially end-of-month) batch cycles. (Remember the phrase, “End of month is on fire!”)  Technically, because we were exempt and salaried, there was no compensation for on-call duty, whether done from home (either through company terminals or laptops or on one’s own PC through software like ProComm), or by coming back into the office. There was no compensation  or mileage allowance for extra commutes or trips.

However, in the mid 1990s, I was on a “first tier” team that responded to on-call emergencies, in an arrangement where there was one night-time programmer scheduled to be there.  Most duties happened when she couldn’t work (as toward the end of a pregnancy).   Just once, I was “there” almost all weekend for an end-of-month.  Those with fewer family responsibilities (often singles and/or childless) tended to pay their dues more.

There was indirect compensation, however, in the form of annual raises probably 2% greater than they would have been.  So for the remainder of my “career” the accumulated extra compensation (for playing “volunteer fire department”) was probably around $10000. 

In today’s information technology work environment, so much more geared to the home consumer and to managing Internet connectivity and user-generated content platforms, I suspect that a much larger portion of the “professional” workforce does work planned odd hours.  This seems to be the case with tech support at my own ISP.

Can anyone described the work culture now at Facebook?  

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