Does my employer have to pay a shift differential?

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Does my employer have to pay a shift differential?

We have only ever had first shift. Now the company is creating a second shift, and says they are not paying a shift differential? I thought that they have to. Could you please explain the law on this one? We are a non-union shop.

Asked on January 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Shift differential pay is not required by law; it is a discretionary benefit.  In other words, it is something that an employer can voluntarily choose to pay - or not.  This holds true unless your employer has previously paid employees such a differential, or it is required to be paid by virtue of an employment/union contract, or it is being withheld due to discriminatory reasons.  Absent any of the foregoing (which are either not the case in your situation or at least you did not indicate to be the case), you have no claim to be paid a shift differential. 

Note:  As always, to the extent the you are a non-exempt employee, you are still entitle to be receive overtime pay for any hours that you work over 40. 


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