Reporters, Editors Are Professionals, U.S. Judge Declares

United Press International

A judge has dismissed a suit against the Washington Post by 99 of its employees, ruling that reporters and editors in a representative sample are professionals under federal labor law and not entitled to overtime pay.

U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell said in an opinion Wednesday that reporters and editors are exempt from the general requirement that employers pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours in a week. The labor law exempts executive, administrative and professional employees.

Newsroom employees whose salaries are less than $810 a week are entitled to overtime for each hour worked in excess of 37 1/2 hours a week. The current average salary for Post reporters is $1,071 a week, or $55,692 a year, according to figures compiled by the Newspaper Guild.

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