This article explains the impact and consideration of Daylight Saving Time (DST) when using Virtual TimeClock software.
What is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time is a one hour local time shift that occurs annually at the beginning of March and November. Local time is advanced forward one hour in the spring and turned back one hour in the fall. To minimize the impact of this time change, the DST shift in United States officially occurs at 2:00 a.m. on a Sunday.
Daylight Saving Time is commonly practiced in Europe and the United States. DST is not federally mandated in the United States. The following US states and territories do not observe Daylight Saving Time:
- American Samoa
- Puerto Rico
- the Virgin Islands
Virtual TimeClock & Daylight Saving Time
Nearly all modern electronic devices update their internal clock for DST automatically. As long as a computer is connected to the internet, the DST change occurs automatically. In addition, the Internet Time Servers that can be used by Virtual TimeClock are also updated automatically. As a result, your Virtual TimeClock software should always automatically display and use the correct local time. It is a good practice to check your TimeClock following a DST change to ensure that it has been able to properly update to the correct local time.
Since the DST change occurs overnight on a weekend, most Virtual TimeClock users are not otherwise affected by the twice yearly time change. However, if your company has employees working 'on the clock' when the time changes, you will need to ensure that these workers are properly paid for the actual time worked.
Time Worked & Daylight Saving Time
In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employees must be credited with all hours actually worked. This means that employers must properly account for the impact of DST when workers are on the clock when the time change occurs.
Employees that are working when DST begins in the spring will work one hour less because the clocks are set ahead one hour during their shift. Employees working when DST ends in the fall will work an extra hour because the time is set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. If no adjustment is made to these shifts, an employee that normally works an 8 hour shift will only actually work for 7 hours on the day that DST begins and 9 hours on the day that DST ends.
There are a variety of ways employers can address overnight shifts when the DST change occurs. Companies and industries that have workers on the clock at 2:00 a.m. on Sundays usually have well established policies and procedures to ensure worker timecards and shifts are adjusted for the DST change, and that workers are paid for their actual time worked. To make changes to employee timecards, review the Editing Timecard Entries article for detailed information on modifying timecards.