Since our hours of daylight are getting shorter and shorter, daylight saving time (DST) ends this Sunday, November 1. Don’t forget to set your clocks back Saturday night for an extra hour of sleep!
Remember that employees need to be paid for hours actually worked, regardless of what the clock says. If you want to avoid paying overtime to an employee who typically works from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., you’ll need to make sure that the employee either starts work an hour later or ends work an hour earlier this coming Sunday for an eight-hour shift (with a half-hour meal break). Because if an employee works from 11:30 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. beginning on October 31 and ending on November 1 this year, they will work a total of nine hours (with a half-hour meal break), resulting in one hour of overtime pay.
But that extra hour of sleep is good, right? Sadly, it comes at a cost for many people. When we “fall back” at DST’s end, our bodies and brains are exposed to less sunlight. As Dr. Anthony Komaroff writes for Harvard Health, the resulting shift in the body’s sleep/wake cycle may disrupt sleep for several days, increasing risk of accidents on the roadways and impeding productivity at work. In fact, 74 percent of Americans feel that the lack of daylight affects their productivity, and 34 percent report that lack of daylight “significantly” affects their productivity, according to a 2018 survey from YouGov and Velux.
Next week, consider suggesting that employees use their breaks to take a walk and soak up the sun, whether they are in the office or — as is often the case in 2020 — working remotely. This will elevate not just their productivity but also their moods and vitamin D levels.
Finally, mark your calendar for when the clocks move forward on March 14, 2021 — when we can do this all again.
Mike McCluskey, Senior Technical Editor, CalChamber