Leap Day Payday

The February 29th, 2016 Google Doodle

It’s February 29th, 2016, which means that some of my friends are turning 5, women can propose to men, and anyone who’s working today is working for free. In reality, the first point is true (Happy Birthday David and Geoff!), the second plausible (but no longer restricted to one day every four years in our society), and the third false.

The urban legend surrounding “working for free” on a Leap day holds that, because there are usually 261 weekdays a year, the extra Leap Day means that you are getting paid the same amount that you would normally get, but work an extra day to get it. This is of course inaccurate for all hourly employees, so let’s take a closer look at it for salaried workers.

First of all, the leap day may not necessarily mean an extra day to work in a year. Leap Day 2016, for example, will add a 53rd Saturday to our year (falling on December 31st). Occasionally, a leap day will even lead to 260 workdays in a year!

Finally, many salaried workers don’t stop their jobs at 5pm on Friday. If you’re the person who works seven days a week, then you have bigger work stresses to deal with than the extra day in a Leap Year.

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