Each year, National Third Shift Workers Day on the second Wednesday in May recognizes the workers who face the night to keep businesses running, hospitals staffed, and streets safe. The day is also known as National Night Shift Workers Day.

Many businesses require 24-hour attention. Whether it’s a manufacturing facility in high demand or a processing plant that requires an overnight cleaning or cycle change, businesses function as efficiently as possible.

However, not all third shifts are in business. Hospitals, first responders, and nursing homes work 24 hours a day, too. Metropolitan areas of any size have employees working overnight to ensure the safety and reliability of water, power, and other infrastructure.

The day honors all third shift workers whether they rotate in and out of the shift or not. Regardless of their duties, the time of day they are performed can make life unusual and sometimes difficult. It recognizes their sacrifices, often missing special occasions and even everyday events because they sleep while the rest of the world functions on a 9-5 schedule. And when they do attend meetings, celebrations, and other events, they are often sleep-deprived.

Many third shift workers choose to work the hours because their spouse works the opposite shift making it possible for a parent to always be home with the children. Or, the choice is so they can care for a loved one who is ill. Of course, other reasons are that it is the nature of the profession they chose.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ThirdShiftWorkersDay

Celebrate a third shift worker you know. Leave them a token of your appreciation. Respect their hours and need for sleep at different times. Be understanding when they are unable to attend events. When you receive an invite from a third shift worker to join them for dinner or drink, understand that it might be a while before you receive another due to their unusual schedule. So take them up on it every opportunity you have.  Use #ThirdShiftWorkersDay to post on social media.


Jeff Corbett founded National Third Shift Workers Day to recognize those who keep businesses running, the lights on, and people safe throughout the night. Velcea Kay founded the similarly named National Night Shift Workers Day to be observed on the same date recognizing those same dedicated workers who flip their days and nights around so the rest of the world can rest safely.

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