Night Shift Pay Differential

We have groups of employees who have different jobs (i.e. maintenance, janitorial and manufacturing). All are non-exempt except for 2 in manufacturing. Manufacturing works 12 hour shifts from 6 pm to 6 am for 4 nights and work every other weekend. The maintenance and janitorial staff work M-F from 2:30 pm-11:00 pm.

We would like to implement a $1.00/hour night shift pay differential for the manufacturing group only.

Since this is a "night shift pay differential" can we do this and not be in violation of wage and hour laws? Would we have to offer this shift differential to the 2 exempt ee's?


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You will want to check your state's wage & hour laws, but under FLSA you would not have to offer the differential to exempt employees (although you could choose to do so). Some advice, however, you will want to think through different scenarios that will inevitably arise, and cover them in a policy, such as, if the employee uses paid leave, will that include the differential? Or, if for some extraordinary reason you ask an employee to work say 3PM to 3AM on occasion, will that employee receive the differential? If yes, for all of the hours, or only those after 6PM? I have been working with both "swing-shift" and "graveyeard-shift" differentials for years; and there is always a new twist that comes up.

    Also, remember that the differential is included in the employee's regular rate of pay when calculating overtime pay.
  • DavidS,

    Very instructive. Thank you. Can we offer the "Night Shift Pay Differential" to the non-exempt manufacturing group only (and not the janitorial or maintenance non-exempt groups who work somewhat different hours)? Or does offering it only to certain non-exempt ee's raise concerns with wage and hour laws?

  • We have shift differentials that we offer by job title, so some working the same shift who have different job titles are not entitled to it (such as manufacturing gets it, custodial doesn't). We pay it only for hours worked, not paid time off. It is figured into their time and a half overtime, but if overtime is outside the specified shift they don't get the differential for those hours. (Ours is for our 2 to 10 pm shift, if they stay over after 10 pm they don't get the shift differential, but it does figure into the time-and-a-half pay).
  • You definitely can offer it to some and not others. Most shift differentials are paid to compensate employees for working undesireable shifts. Is working 6PM to 6AM more undesirable than working 2:30 pm to 11:00 pm? I think it is. If the janitor and maintenance shifts were more similar to the manufacturing shift, then I would be concerned. If the shifts were similar I would look at the employee demographics to make sure I wasn't paying the differential, for example, to predominantly white males while withholding it from Hispanic females who were working a similar shift. However, as you describe the situation, I think you are okay.
Sign In or Register to comment.