Computer Software Professionals are exempt from many California overtime. 

This exemption applies to:
All computer software professionals under any IWC Wage Order.

Type of employee:
Computer programmer.

What are they exempt from:

What is an computer software professional: 
California law requires that in order for a computer software professional employee to be exempt from overtime, the employer must prove all of the following elements:

Element Number 1:
The employee must be primarily engaged in creative or intellectual work and must regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment.
Element Number 2:
The employee’s primary duties must include one of the following:

The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures including consulting with users to determine hardware software or system functional specifications.

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.

The documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to the design of software or hardware for computer operating systems.

Element Number 3:
The employee must be highly skilled and proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering; and
Element Number 4:
The employee’s hourly rate of pay or salary is not less than the statutorily specified rate for all hours worked, including overtime hours.


A trainee or employee in an entry-level position who is learning to become proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering.

An employee who is in a computer-related occupation but has not attained the level of skill and expertise necessary to work independently and without close supervision.

An employee who manufactures, repairs or maintains computer hardware and related equipment.

An employee who is an engineer, drafter, machinist, or other professional whose work is highly dependent upon or facilitated by the use of computers and computer software programs and who is skilled in computer-aided design software, including CAD/CAM, but who is not engaged in computer systems analysis, programming, or any other similarly skilled computer-related occupation.

An employee who is a writer engaged in writing material, including box labels, product descriptions, documentation, promotional material, setup and installation instructions, and other similar written information, either for print or for onscreen media or who writes or provides content material intended to be read by customers, subscribers, or visitors to computer-related media such as the World Wide Web or CD-ROMs.


The Law Offices of Morris Nazarian provides representation to employees seeking the payment of overtime wages, minimum wages, missed meal and rest breaks, vacation wages, deductions from wages, severance pay, misclassification, independent contractor cases and other unpaid wages or commissions. We also handle harassment and discrimination claims.

If you believe you have been misclassified as an exempt employee, contact a Los Angeles wage and hour attorney to schedule a free consultation. Please contact Los Angeles misclassification lawyer Morris Nazarian by calling (310) 284-7333 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation or please fill out the Employment Law Case Evaluation Form [link: case evaluation form] and Los Angeles wage and hour attorney Morris Nazarian will call or email you as soon as possible. 

If the violation is company-wide, you and your co-workers may be entitled to bring a class action lawsuit against the employer.