Wednesday, August 18, 2004

New Federal Overtime Law Bites

Apparently when I do find full-time work, I'll have to abide by this new law. That is, if I make more than $23,000 per year. Right now, it looks like I'll be lucky to find something that pays that much unless I am able to really get down to business with my Mary Kay business.

According to the new law, "Whether or not you will be eligible for overtime depends on what you do and how much money you make. If you make more than $23,000 a year but less than $100,000 a year and your job is considered administrative, professional or executive in nature, you are no longer eligible by law to earn overtime pay." (This according to the local ABC station.)

I am a journalist. More specifically, a freelance journalist wanting to be a full-time copy editor. That would fall into the categories listed above. If I'm able to be hired as a full-time copy editor, the chances of me earning more than $23,000 per year is pretty good, even to start. (But it's not going to happen in Wichita.)

Most of you probably don't know this, but copy editors sometimes put in a lot of hours. Depending on the publication, we could be at work all day and then some. Comp time would only be available if there was someone who could take your place, and that usually is a luxury.

I'm not exactly sure how this will affect me once I do find work, but I sure don't want to be putting in time that I won't get paid for. Unions wouldn't help me, anyway, because they couldn't prevent a copy editor from being classified in the categories listed above; that's what a copy editor IS classified as.

This all goes into effect next week. Good luck to all of you out there who will have to struggle with this one.

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