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Hourly wage for exempt computer professionals changes Jan. 1, 2005

Labor Code Section 515.5 provides that certain computer software employees shall be exempt from overtime compensation requirements pursuant to Labor Code Section 510, if certain criteria are met. One of the required criteria is the employee's hourly rate of pay must not be less than a certain threshold dollar amount. The Division of Labor Statistics and Research is responsible for adjusting this pay rate on October 1 of each year to be effective on January 1 of the following year, by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the California Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, to qualify for exemption, computer professionals must earn an hourly wage of at least $45.84 per hour.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement enforces the state's laws governing wages, hours and working conditions and a history of the computer exemption pay rate is posted on its Web site.

Employers in need of Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders, which regulate wages, hours and working conditions and detail the criteria for exemption in all professions, may download or order them from the department's workplace postings page.