Daylight Savings Time and Third-Shift Workers

Daylight Savings Time (DST) officially ended at 2:00am yesterday, Sunday, November 1. For most, the clocks moved back an hour to 1:00am, putting the world back on Standard Time. While DST was originally introduced in the United States by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, today DST is in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people each year.

Today there’s very little we have to do to align ourselves with Daylight Savings or Standard Time. Our computers and cell phones automatically set themselves to the appropriate time, as do most alarm clocks, DVRs, and other in-home technological devices. For the vast majority of us, we simply take note that when we wake up on Sunday morning, we will have had an extra hour of sleep, without sleeping in.

But, what if your work shift took place during the time change? For third-shift factory workers, healthcare professionals, and public service officials such as police officers and firefighters, their 10pm to 7am shift will be a whole hour longer than it was the day before, and yet their timecard will show that they clocked in at 10am and clocked out at 7am (along with a meal and some breaks in between). However, for those same shift workers who live in Arizona or Hawaii, that 10pm to 7am shift is the same as any other because those two states largely do not observe daylight savings. Regardless of what the time stamps are on those time cards, employees must be paid for the number of hours they worked.

If your organization has multiple locations with different time observances and third-shift workers, keeping accurate time and attendance records, processing payroll, and maintaining compliance with union CBAs could certainly be quite a headache without sophisticated time and attendance software.

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