I'm making a Time card app that keeps track of employee hours. What I would like to know, and this is an etiquette question concerning overtime hours, is:

If an employee works past midnight on the last day of the work week, and the employee has worked over 40 hours, should the extra hours worked past midnight be calculated to the completed week's overtime hours, or added to the next week's total as overtime hours?

on the first hand, working past midnight on the last day of the week is in reality working on the next week, and on second hand if you are working past midnight it is still technically the last day of the weeks shift,

What would be the proper way to go about this?

  • 1
    I own and operate my own company, I was asking what the PROPER way to handle overtime hours worked after midnight on the last workday of the week – Wraithious Jun 18 '16 at 23:15
  • Note that a small-business owner or HR manager should know the answer (or possible answers) to this question which makes this on-topic on this site. – Lilienthal Jun 19 '16 at 12:37
  • @Lilienthal Thanks, but the thing is, I am a programmer and my work can span the entire globe, and as someone mentioned it would be near to impossible to know every law of every jurisdiction around the world where someone would use my app. – Wraithious Jun 20 '16 at 1:13
  • Ah ok, that makes this purely an UX/design question and off-topic here. – Lilienthal Jun 20 '16 at 8:29

Ask a potential customer

We cannot safely answer this question for you for a number of reasons. As such the best place to go for this type of information is to ask multiple potential customers (preferably in different types of industries, and at least one that does government contracts) and ask them how they handle this case. Also it is safe to say since this is about labor charging that there are a whole bunch more special case rules that are likely country and state specific that can impact your app, which we cannot help with.

Make it configurable

The likely answer you will find from asking potential customers is all of the above and ways you did not even think of were valid. In some special circumstances it could be at the end of the week those hours count as normal hours to next week. Other cases it could be overtime for the current week, or it could be overtime hours for next week. As such make your app configurable so that the customer can choose how the heck they want to handle the case. Problem that will likely arise with this is a customer might assume that since your app allows them to do it, it must be legal (which it could easily not be).

  • 1
    Thank you that is a great idea, I can definitely make that configurable in the app fairly easily and it would be up to the manager to check local laws and set it accordingly, I can even flag it when the manager goes to set it so a message is shown to the manager with a warning. – Wraithious Jun 19 '16 at 1:33
  • @Wraithious Well, you need some default setting and the legal warning won't be visible there. – Agent_L Jun 19 '16 at 11:26
  • 1
    @Agent_L yep that's correct, and I have implemented that, what i did was, when you create your employee the warning message comes up then, and also if you edit the employee at a later date – Wraithious Jun 20 '16 at 0:54
  • Yes, configuration was the right answer. It really depends on the business and the local laws. In my area of the US for instance, Uber, bars, and nightclubs tend to end their week each Monday at 4 AM, but for other kinds of businesses or perhaps other locations for bars, having the week end on Monday at 4 AM wouldn't make any sense. It really depends on the context. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 20 '16 at 10:03

This is a good question because it doesn't just impact software development. It means that you will have to understand the labor laws for the jurisdictions involved.

It isn't just the end of the pay period. If there are night and weekend pay differentials and an employee reports for work at 11:00 PM which pay rate are they paid? What happens if they are called in for emergency work? What happens if they end work in lower rate period? what happens if they end in a higher rate period?

Even if your options follow the law, some union agreements and contracts may specify other rules.

The best approach is to make the settings part of the business rules, and they have to be configurable, with some predefined sets of rules that will cover most cases.

  • Some places pay more for work on Sundays and public holidays. So how do you pay if someone starts work at 6pm Saturday and finishes 2am Sunday? Tricky. – gnasher729 Jun 19 '16 at 13:39
  • Or someone might for legal reasons not be allowed to work more than X hours a week. Depending on where you count the hours, someone might go over the limit or not. – gnasher729 Jun 19 '16 at 16:45
  • @gnasher729 Good point, I can also create a Holiday setting when setting up your employees, in which you can choose to pay differently if it is sunday or a holiday date(s) that the manager chooses, if non holliday/sunday is worked into the holiday/sunday hours then only that time will be recorded as Holiday as i can connect that with the 'After midnight hours apply to week...' setting i created. Thanks for the input! – Wraithious Jun 20 '16 at 1:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.