Daylight Savings Time Headaches – The 2007 Version

Kegler Brown E-mployment Alert

The switch to Daylight Savings Time sometimes causes minor problems in some workplaces. For example, graveyard shift employees who are working when the time changes in the Spring will only work a 7-hour shift. Some employers simply pay employees for the normal 8-hour shift when this occurs. However, under the federal wage hour law, the company is not required to pay for the unworked hour, or to include the hour as time worked for overtime purposes. (By the same token, the graveyard shift employees will work an extra hour in the Fall, and they must be paid for all those hours, including the extra hour which might be overtime.)

However, this year is different than normal. The reason is because in 2005 Congress moved the dates that Daylight Savings begins and ends. This year, Daylight Savings starts on March 11 (instead of April 1) and ends November 4. While it seems like no big deal, you should check on a couple of things:

  • Many automated computer programs may not pick up the early March 11 date because they are programmed for the April 1 change. This means that calendars, and perhaps also payroll, compliance, and/or other date-driven programs may need to be manually adjusted. (Most personal cell phones, PDAs, etc. will be automatically changed on the correct March 11 day by the service providers).
  • In addition, since Daylight Savings Time will occur earlier in the U.S., much of Europe and the United Kingdom will not be on the same Daylight Savings schedule. For example, between March 11 and March 25, there will be a 4-hour difference, and not 5 hours, between the East Coast and England. Make sure that you plan your travel arrangements, meetings, and calling times accordingly.