Daylight Saving Time ends early this Sunday. (Here’s our post on the history of the time change.) Aside from changing your clocks, there’s another reason it’s worth noting the change, particularly if you’re an hourly employee.
Last year on Twitter, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez provided a helpful reminder for those who work on the Saturday night/Sunday morning during which Daylight Saving Time ends. “… If you [work] a late shift … when the clocks rolled back & [have] to work an extra hour, make sure you check your paystub this week and get paid for it!” she wrote on Twitter. “Computers sometimes miss it. Make sure you get paid—don’t let your labor get stolen!”
This advice also has made the rounds on Reddit, where users shared their experiences dealing with missing out on an hour’s pay. “Stupidly, some payroll/time-clock systems fail to account for that missing hour and not all employers have payroll managers smart enough to even realize it happens, so they just issue checks based on the time the clock reports,” u/krazydavid writes. “As someone who worked in the IT field for a long time and dealt with these systems a lot, I’ve seen it happen a few times.”
According to the Fair Labor and Standards Act, you should absolutely be compensated for the hour. “The FLSA requires that employees must be credited with all of the hours actually worked,” reads the Department of Labor’s website, referring to an example of an employee who works “eight” hours, but the 1 to 2am shift twice because of the time change. “Therefore, if the employee is in a work situation similar to that described in the above example, he or she worked … nine hours on the day that Daylight Savings Time ends.” Of course, this could vary with your particular employer’s policies, but chances are, it’s not legal.
If this happens to you, first, be sure to check your paystub and account for all your hours worked. If you find that it isn’t accurate, speak to your employer immediately about getting paid for the hour (and refer to the website above). If you’re still having issues, you can inquire about your particular case directly with the DOL or even report your employer, particularly if it affects several employees; you can report issues confidentially, too.
Of course, if you’re in Hawaii or Arizona, where Daylight Saving Time isn’t observed, or if you are a salaried employee, this issue may not affect you (though, if you worked overtime as a salaried employee that night, it could impact you; again, check with your employer’s policies).
And if you are worried you’ll have trouble getting used to the early sunrise, here’s how to take advantage of the extra hour, at least.
This article was first published in November 2019 and updated October 30, 2020 with updated context and a new header image.