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It’s time to grab that extra hour of sleep this weekend! More specifically, at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 4, we’ll set our clocks back one hour as daylight saving time comes to a close.
Believe it or not, the twice-yearly time change at 2 a.m. generates questions about how to calculate hours worked when the clock is set back in the fall and employees “gain” an hour, as well as in the spring when the clock is set forward and employees “lose” an hour.
For those employers with employees who work the graveyard shift, “fall back” means potential trouble calculating those employees’ hours worked. A common graveyard shift starts at 11 p.m. and finishes at 7:30 a.m., for a total of eight work hours plus a half-hour lunch.
Unless an employer uses a computerized time clock that adjusts for daylight saving time changes, employees may not be paid correctly. Employees must be paid for actual hours worked, regardless of what the time clock or time card reflects.
If daylight saving time results in employees working a nine-hour shift, they must be paid for nine hours.
The time change may also affect overtime pay. In California, overtime is owed if all hours worked in a “workday” day exceed eight. Calculating whether overtime is owed involves looking at how your company defines a workday and then determining if more than eight hours were worked. Also, remember that weekly overtime is owed for all hours worked beyond 40 straight-time hours in a workweek; look at how your company defines a “workweek.”