Shift Differential Pay

Dear all-

 I am looking for some affirmation on my thoughts...we have a set number of individuals performing a similar function, with similar titles (just with different levels 1-3), and similar pay.  Prior to HR's inception, some were paid with shift differential and some were not--this was solely based on what was placed within their offer letter.  Now all these positions are performing work that can qualify under our shift differential hours/days yet some were not paid the additonal monies.  I operate under the principle of "do for one, do for all".  I have proposed that this pay be offered to all performing these job responsibilties regardless of what was stated within the offer letter.  Looking ahead, do we run risk of any legal issues for not proivding this in the past few months (wage claim, etc.)?  Do you agree with my move based on the information provided? I value your opinions as always.


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I don't see any risks for prior pay. I wouldn't however state that some got it before and others did not.  Just that a new formal plan has been setup.

    Personally, I prefer written compensation policies for those paid anything other than straight salary or straight hourly/OT. 

    One statement to include however is "Company reserves the right to change this incentive pay plan at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. Before we make any significant change in our pay practices, Company will provide xxxx day's notice in writing of such a change. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> {we use 2 weeks}

    This incentive pay plan is not a contract guaranteeing employment for any specific duration. This incentive pay plan does not affect the employment status of the employee being “at-will”, meaning that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time and for any non-discriminatory reason by either party."

     I also require a signature at the time the new compensation plan goes into affect.  These are separate from any offer letter.

  • I agree with HRforME that you just state that you have put a formal plan in place and that is why a change is being made.

    You are on the right track with what you do for one you do for all.  When I worked in a manufacturing environment we had different shifts. Anyone not on day shift received a shift differential pay, regardless of the position they were doing.  It was based on the time of their shift and not the position they were working.

    I like the wording of HRforME's statement above so that it gives you the right to change something if it is necessary.  We also had something in ours that said if you moved to the day shift that your pay would be reduced by the shift differential.  We did this to make sure there was not an issue if someone wanted to change shifts.



  • On this subject of shift differential, can anyone point me to a survey of some kind that indicates what industries are typically doing related to how much more they are paying for 2nd and 3rd shift or for any other shift variety like a 3-day, 12-hour per day weekend only shift? I am trying to determine if the current premiums we pay for off-shift work are competitive.
  • I don't have a good resource for you but I can tell you what I did 3 years ago. I had production employees that worked 3 shifts M-F in the uniform/textiles industry.  We paid $.50 more per hour for 2nd shift (started at 3:00pm) and $1.00 more per hour for 3rd shift (started at 9pm).
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