I’ve worked in the tech industry for about five years now, and I still have trouble figuring out if I should have been paid overtime or not. For the record, I have not been paid a cent, either at my current job or my last two (which is the sum total of my tech world experience).

That is not to say I haven’t worked some crazy hours, but the laws can be so tricky with tech that it’s hard to know whether your employer is following the letter of the law or hacking the law to get a little more out of you for less.

So, to help my brothers and sisters in the tech world, here are some guidelines I picked up on the Leichter Law Firm PC page to help you find out whether you should be expecting time and a half for all that extra work you’ve put in the last few weeks.

First of all, if you’re on salary, that isn’t immediately disqualifying, but if you’re on a salary of more than $900 (or $913 to be exact) a week, then you won’t be getting overtime, no matter the hours. If you make more than $27.63 an hour, you also are out of luck. I actually make $30 right now, which is nice, except I’m just a tick over that sweet overtime pay.

Those aren’t the only factors, though. You can still get that overtime money if you aren’t involved in one of these key tech areas: systems analysis, designing or testing systems and programs, or some combination of those two. For systems analysis, that includes (and I’m quoting from the law firm’s text here), “consulting with users, or determining hardware, software, or system functional specifications.” For designing and testing, that includes (quoting again), “modifying computer systems or programs, which can include prototypes or user or system design specifications.”

Is that clear?

Basically, for your average tech supporter who is dealing more with mechanical issues and not on the design and analysis end, overtime is still out there waiting for you. But if you’re doing the bulk of your work with systems, well, that’s definitely more fulfilling, but you’re missing out on income.

By the way, manufacturing and repairing computers still get you overtime, so if you’re on that end, be sure to check your pay stubs.

I hope this article has been helpful. It turns out, after this research, that my employers were always on the up and up with me, and I never did deserve overtime (at least according to the US government). I hope the case is the same for you, but if not, be sure to get in touch with someone to demand that extra cash (and back pay). Because, hey, tech is hard, and you’ve earned it.