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It’s leap day, also known this year as a regular workday. Here’s what that means for your paycheck.

<i>baona/E+/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Will you be paid more for working the extra day in a leap year? It depends.
baona/E+/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
Will you be paid more for working the extra day in a leap year? It depends.

By Jeanne Sahadi, CNN

New York (CNN) — If you have a job, you’re likely not working for free.

In fact, when you were hired, you agreed to work for a given amount of pay over the course of a year, which you assumed meant 365 days.

Except this year — and every fourth year, for those keeping score — there are actually 366 days, thanks to the extra day in February because it’s a leap year.

That day, February 29, also just happens to be a traditional workday.

So does that mean you’ll be paid more for the extra day? It depends.

If you’re an hourly worker, the answer is yes. That’s because, legally, you must be paid for every hour you work. This year, you will effectively be working an extra eight hours or so.

If you’re salaried, the calculus isn’t as straightforward. Sure, technically, it may be an extra day of work that won’t be specially reflected in your paycheck. But there’s another way to think about it.

You’re paid an annual salary for a full year. While you may think of that as eight-hour days, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, you know very well that some weeks you will work an additional five to 10 hours. And your annual salary doesn’t go up then, does it? On the flip side, you also may have some weeks when you work fewer than 40 hours a week, depending on your workload or other demands on your time. The good news there, of course, is that your pay isn’t reduced when you do.

Hate that explanation? Then forget about Leap Year calculations and consider this: “In any given year, you may have one more or one less weekday,” said Ashley Herd, founder of ManagerMethod.com and a former employment attorney and human resources executive. “Every year it nets in and out.”

You might also spare a thought for your friends in payroll, who have to worry about the nitty-gritty math and payroll period adjustments that have to be made in a leap year, because it can sometimes create extra pay periods, depending on your employer’s normal pay schedule.

Or, if you’re not loving the fact that you have an extra day of work this month, why not put in for an additional paid day off to make yourself feel better.

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