Daylight Savings Time Means Employers May Have to Pay for an Extra Hour

Attorney at Law

ROCK HILL, S.C. –  For most people, the end of Daylight Savings Time in the wee hours of Sunday, Nov. 3, means little more than an extra hour’s sleep and making sure all the clocks are set back.

But for employers with third-shift employees, it may require putting extra thought into payroll, in order to comply with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

First and foremost, it means you’ll have to pay your nonexempt employees twice for the hour between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., because they will have actually worked it twice. Does this make your head hurt? Think about it – they’ll work it once under DST, and when the clock goes back from 2 to 1, they’ll work it again.

And that means that what looks like an eight-hour shift on the clock will really be nine hours long, as actually worked by the employee.

If you want to avoid paying for the extra time, you can change when the shift ends or begins to convert it to eight hours of real time. But depending on the needs of your business, that may just shift the extra hour around (that is, assuming you have to have someone in that slot all 24 hours of the day).

There’s still another consideration if the employee is full-time: overtime. If that nine-hour shift puts the employee over 40 hours for the workweek, that extra hour will be paid at time-and-a-half.

On the flipside, employers should consider when Daylight Savings Time begins, on March 8, 2020, at 2 a.m., as that same third-shift employee will in actuality only work seven hours of what looks like an eight-hour shift.

Some employers may wish to be generous and pay for the whole eight-hour shift, which you may want to highlight as a benefit, which under the FLSA, does not get included in calculating overtime for the workweek.

Melissa Cassell is an associate with Morton & Gettys, LLC, a law firm in Rock Hill, S.C. She focuses her practice on corporate, employment and commercial real estate law. If you or your business need legal help in any of these areas, contact her at