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Night Differential Questions. Please help! New York

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  • Night Differential Questions. Please help! New York

    First off, just wanted to say, please forgive me if this is a repeat thread, but I am desperate for answers, whether they are in favor of me or not.

    I work 40 hours a week, every week, in an overnight position as a receptionist at a large veterinary hospital for the past 2 years. I have been with this company for for 5+ years, but have been in this position for 2 of them. When I first started in the position, i was on a base, hourly wage. I am the only full timer in this time slot of the department, with two other people who do one night each to cover the friday and saturday I do not work. Approximately 1 year into the position, they began to pay me and my coworkers night differential. This included everyone in the hospital who works the third shift (11pm-7am). ie technicians, assistants, and reception (myself). The total sum of employees being paid night diff is something around 5-8 people an evening. Mind you, the entire hospital employees up too 100 people a day, everyday, during normal business hours (it is a very large hospital). After 10 months of paying my co-workers and I night pay, they decided that my department and my department alone no longer "qualified" for night differential, with no explanation as to how they came to this decision. When I approached several different areas of management about this, the answer i received was basically, "Too bad. Take it or leave it." Now, i am very grateful to be employed in such tough economical times, but this is no excuse in my eyes. THE OTHER DEPARTMENTS STILL RECEIVE NIGHT PAY, for the same hours worked. Where is the justification? Is this legal? Is this discriminatory? Look at it this way. This business, and i mean business, not medical provider, brings in upwards for $50,000 a day. EASILY! This cut of night pay literally only affects me. 1 of 3 people in a department. The other two people have full time day positions in the hospital and only do this shift for extra pay. I am THE ONLY full timer in this position. My work is flawless. I am never late. I've had zero complaints by clients against me, etc. I haven't even had a raise in 5+ years. I feel like I am being punished for working beyond what is being expected of me. I am being paid approximately $500 less a month now and struggling.

    Forgive me for my rant, but I could use any insight into this situation.

  • #2
    Barring a legally binding and enforceable contract guaranteeing you a shift differential, yes, this is legal. Shift differentials are NEVER required by law, and since what department you work for is not a characteristic protected by law, it is legal to determine who does and does not get one based on what department you work for. EVEN IF they pay shift differentials to every department but one, that is still legal.

    It's a shame that you are the only one affected, but it's 100% legal as you have described it.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      It is a misconception to believe an employer is required to pay a night shift worker extra pay for working the night shift. An employee may be paid at a higher rate, if the employer agrees...or there is a binding employment contract requiring this. The Fair Labor Standard Act does not require an employer to pay a shift differential for employees. However, some employers do offer more pay for a night shift worker because this is not the most favorable work shift.

      It is not illegal discrimination to only pay certain departments a shift differential though.

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