California Employment Law
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Unfortunately, the wage laws are not particularly friendly to computer-based employees - in that neither are they owed overtime (even if paid on an hourly basis) but can also be classified as exempt as long as they earn $455 per week. See these links http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/fairpay/fs17e_computer.pdf http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Glossary.asp?Button1=E#employee%20in%20the%20computer%20software%20field
So, you more likely than not do not have a legal remedy. Employees however are not powerless. A couple of things come to mind that you all can do. One is to call the department of labor wage and hour department for them to audit the employer in regard to its wage and hour practices. You can do that here http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/fairpay/complaint.htm#.UOwFoG-RRTk
Another thing you can do is organize as a group and demand a higher wage or some sort of improved compensation for these extreme hours of work. You could even formally attempt to start an official union that the employer must negotiate with in all terms and conditions of employment. Your concerted activity would be completely protected by the National Labor Relations Act and you or other employees engaging in concerted activity could not be legally fired or retaliated against for union activity. Here is a good blog on how to form a union. http://www.unions.org/union-benefits/articles/how-to-start-a-union.html
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I'm a bit confused--both you and one of these documents say $455 weekly (~$23K) annual minimum, but the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement document says ~$39 hourly minimum (~$81k annual). That's quite a difference. I earn more than the $81k amount, but some of my more junior team members do not. I'm also curious whether fringe benefits and nontaxable or deferred tax benefits figure into that amount--health insurance, 401K matching, etc.
Please clarify which amount is correct, does it include fringe benefits, and what can my people do about it?