Skip to main content

Policy 380: Shift Differential Pay

Section: Personnel Policies
Sub-Section: Compensation
Policy Number: 380
Subject: Shift Differential Pay
Covered Employees: Classified Employees
Origin Date: January 24, 1997
Effective Date: January 24, 1997
Download PDF File Download policy as a PDF

380.1 POLICY

The shift differential policy permits payment of a differential (extra pay) to non-exempt employees who are assigned to second and third shifts (off-shifts). Only those departments with jobs requiring continual second and/or third shift coverage may institute a shift differential policy.

To be eligible for a shift differential, an employee must start the shift between 2:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. The differential pay rate applies to all hours worked, including any overtime, even though part of the work is performed during another shift.


2.1 Permanent Shift Assignment

A shift differential will be initiated through an Employment Action Form for any employee permanently assigned to an off-shift. The additional payment will be included in the individual's base rate for as long as the shift assignment continues, and entitles the employee to a shift differential for all paid hours (including vacation, sick, holiday, and all other paid absence hours, as well as regular hours worked). If the employee's schedule changes, his/her supervisor should remove or change the shift differential by completing a new Employment Action Form.

In special circumstances, the department may override the permanent shift rate assignment through appropriate entries on the Time and Attendance Reports.

Non-exempt employees who rotate shifts on a fixed schedule should be assigned to a permanent shift rate through an Employment Action Form.

2.2 Temporary Shift Assignment

A Temporary Salary Adjustment Form assigning shifts and applicable rates should be completed by supervisors for employees temporarily assigned to the second or third shift. The differential is only applied to the shift hours reported; the rate is not paid for any absence hours unless specifically stated.


3.1 Shift

An established eight-hour or longer work period. Each day is divided into shifts and employee assignments to these shifts depend on the starting time.

3.2 Shift Differential

An additional payment made to an employee as compensation for the inconvenience of working the second or third shift. Shift differential rates are expressed as cents per hour.

3.3 Permanent Shift Assignment

Assignment of an employee to work consistently on one of the three shifts.

3.4 Rotating Shift Assignment

An assignment in which an employee periodically changes from one shift to another.


4.1 Department Heads and Supervisors

Responsible for defining jobs eligible for shift differential and the rates to be paid. Supervisors will communicate to affected employees how shift differential pay is calculated and what schedules are eligible for the differential.

4.2 Office of Human Resources

Responsible for approving the jobs eligible for shift differential and setting the payment rates.