What Employers Need to Know Before Daylight Savings Time Ends and Election Day

By: Robert W. Small

Two upcoming events, moving from Daylight Savings to Standard Time and Election Day, present wage issues for Employers.  

Wage Issues Related to a  Return to Standard time.
Employers with non-exempt employees working when a time change occurs must be sure to properly calculate wages, including overtime pay, when moving between Standard and Daylight Savings time. 

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state analogs require that non-exempt employees be paid for all hours worked, but only for hours worked; and that they be paid at an overtime rate if they work more than 40 hours in a work week. Some states require overtime if more than eight hours are worked in a day; however, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland do not. (State Department of Labor websites generally have wage and hour information readily available) 

Just remember the old saying: “Spring forward; Fall back.” When we move to Daylight Savings Time and the clock is moved ahead an hour, employees assigned to the shift when the time change occurs will work one less hour and, therefore, may be paid for one less hour. If the employer elects to pay for an additional hour it does not have to include that payment in calculating overtime, but it also is not considered “premium” pay; so, the Employer does not get a credit to use against overtime if overtime were otherwise worked during that pay period.
Conversely, when we move from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time, that same employee will actually work an additional hour. That fact needs to be remembered when calculating that pay period’s wage and when determining if overtime had been worked.  Another way of remembering it is that when we lose an hour of sleep we lose an hour of work and when we gain an hour of sleep we add an hour of compensable time.  

Wage Issues Related to Time Off to Vote.
Employers should be aware that some states require that employees be given time off work to vote.  In some states, the time off must be paid, and in others, it need not be paid. In our region, the following rules apply. 

Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania do not require Employers to give employees time off to vote. Accordingly, should an Employer elect to offer time off to vote it may be without pay. Maryland requires two hours of paid leave to vote unless the employee has at least two hours either before or after work in which he or she can vote. An employee who meets the test and wishes time off must provide notice to the Employer prior to Election Day. The Employer may require proof of voting or attempting to vote and may specify the hours that can be taken off. New York requires Employers to give up to two hours of paid time off to vote if an employee does not have “sufficient time” to do so either before or after work. Sufficient time exists if the employee has at least four consecutive hours between when polls open and his or her shift begins, or four consecutive hours between when the shift ends and the polls close. The employee must provide notice of the need for time off no more than ten nor less than two days before Election Day and the Employer may specify when the time may be taken. If an employee requires more than four hours to vote, the Employer must grant the additional time but it need not be paid time. New York Employers must post Notice of this right at least ten days before Election Day. Obviously, Employers will need to know when polls open and close to determine if time off is required.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact Bob Small, Partner in Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s Employment Practices Group,  at 215.495.6541, or via email at rsmall@regerlaw.com.

This newsletter is designed to keep you up-to-date with changes in the law. For help with these or any other legal issues, please contact Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP.  The content of this newsletter is intended solely for your informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it should not be relied on without a discussion of your specific situation with an attorney.