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There’s a widespread misconception among the general public that if you are well-compensated, you are not eligible for overtime.  That simply by virtue of one’s salary or commissions earnings, their employer can force them to work more than forty hours, even fifty hours per week without any additional compensation.  While salary or earnings may play a role in determining someone’s entitlement to overtime, it is far from the only criteria.  Much to the chagrin of some employers, well paid employees are becoming aware of their rights and asserting claims for unpaid overtime.  One area where this type of claim has become more and more common is among Silicon Valley type tech companies.


Sun Microsystems is just the most recent high tech employer to face a claim for unpaid overtime.  A California court recently granted class action status to a lawsuit brought by a former “technical writer” for the company seeking compensation for overtime.  Though the plaintiff earned a good salary, she worked long hours, many of which she was uncompensated for.  Needless to say, it seems she was not alone.  In fact, given the number of possible class members, Sun faces potential liability well into the millions.  If you are a high tech employee not receiving overtime who always just assumed you weren’t entitled to it, you might want to think again…

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