On Sunday, March 10th, most of us “sprang forward” at 2:00 a.m. and lost one hour (Arizona and Hawaii do not observe).
Daylight Saving Time impacts you and your employees in two ways:
- How or whether to pay employees who are on shift when that hour disappears;
- Increased safety risks and productivity challenges caused by disruption to routine and sleep deprivation.
See also: Employee Timekeeping 101
Paying for the “Lost” Hour
Non-exempt employees who are on shift when Daylight Saving Time starts will work one hour less than their usual shift (unless the shift is modified). The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay only for hours worked. An employee scheduled to work an eight-hour shift from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. will only have worked seven hours because essentially the employee did not work from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Employers are not required to pay that hour.
If you choose to pay your employees for the full eight-hour shift, it does not need to be included in the employee’s regular rate for overtime calculations. You also cannot credit that extra hour of pay towards any overtime compensation due to the employee.
This general rule that employers pay non-exempt employees only for hours actually worked might not apply if you have a policy or employment agreement that creates an obligation.
Risks to Safety and Productivity
Daylight Saving Time pushes most people to go to bed and wake up one hour earlier. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this disruption to circadian rhythms (cycles of hormones and other functions that prepare us for sleeping, eating, and activity) can cause sleep deprivation, reduced performance, and increase the risk of mistakes.
See also: Work Comp and Safety Spotlight
The CDC has a few recommendations to help the body adjust and reduce the risks associated with Daylight Saving Time. You can share our infographic below with your employees to help them remain safe and productive.
7 Tips for Businesses on Daylight Savings
Use the infographic below (or share it with your employees) to help the prepare for, or adjust after, daylight savings time.