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Spring Forward: How Daylight Savings Affects Paying Employees

March 10, 2014 Legal Team

It’s daylight savings time! This means everyone at work feels virtually jet-lagged for the hour lost on Sunday morning at 2:00 am. But the hour lost is not the only change to be cognizant of while springing forward. For all those hourly or non-exempt employees, make sure your employer is compensating you correctly during each daylight savings change.

During the spring, we lose an hour in the wee hours of that Sunday morning in March. While this does not affect employees who work during the day, those employees who work the night shift, or graveyard shift, are affected. Essentially, if you work the graveyard shift, during the spring, you may work one hour less during the shift daylight savings occurs. For instance, since the clocks spring forward, a graveyard shift employee is not working the hour of 2 am to 3 am, therefore, he is only working a seven hours shift rather than an eight.

It’s the autumn “fall back” time change that employees need to really pay attention. Once again, graveyard shift employees want to be careful looking at their paychecks for that pay period. Since the clock “falls back,” a graveyard shift employee is working an extra hour, essentially repeating the 1 am to 2 am hour over again. That means, instead of eight hours, an employee would have worked nine hours. That ninth hour is now payable at an hour’s time rate ( 1.5 times normal hour’s rate).

So make sure, during each time change that you are paid correctly! And make sure to change your clocks so you don’t get to work an hour early or late!