Is a 12-Hour Work Day Acceptable?

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The US Supreme Court will once again hear the case of Navarro v. Encino Motorcars LLC, arguing whether overtime pay rules apply for service advisors.

Their decision has flip-flopped twice in a court battle that has widespread ramifications for the automotive industry. While the case has yet to be decided, a greater question looms: is it worthwhile for dealership staff to work extended-length shifts?

Both on the showroom floor and in the service drive, dealership employees have worked 9-hour, 10-hour, and even 12-hour days with regularity. With a standard American workday at 8 hours, it can mean an extra 10 to 20 hours per week for some staff, and that may not include weekend hours. It’s a pace that is almost impossible to keep up, taking a toll on their physical and mental well-being. 

The Effect Long Shifts Have on Dealership Personnel

Salespeople in the showroom are by law exempt from overtime pay because of their commission structure, but that doesn’t mean the extra hours they work are beneficial. And in the high-paced service environment, it’s clear that not only does the staff member suffer after working overtime, but the customers and the employees’ families bear the brunt of it. 

Keep Work Days Close to the 8-Hour Standard

Everyone benefits when employees are well-rested, which is why the standard 8-hour workday should be the goal. You can increase employee satisfaction and improve your customer experience with these tips:

Add Staff to Take Up the Slack

You can’t leave the service desk or sales floor unattended, so add an extra person to work into the rotation. 

Change the Work Schedule

Stagger employee start-times to reduce the shift length. You may even be able to extend your open hours, churning more work through your shop if you can support a two shorter shifts. This will require other support staff, managers, or technicians, but the rewards are ready to be reaped. 

Encourage Staff to Stick to their Hours

Prevent employee burnout by encouraging them to leave at the end of their shift. While dedication to the job is admirable, an employee with plenty of family time and recreation benefits from improved mental health, and consequently performs better in their career. 

The overtime court case will be heard again soon. Consider if working overtime is something that should be encouraged or if it needs to change.