HR Management & Compliance

Ask the Expert: Bonus Pay for Exempt Employee Who Works on Holiday

Can you pay an exempt employee a bonus for working on a company paid holiday?

bonus pay

An employer may provide an exempt employee with additional compensation without losing the exempt status or violating the salary basis requirement if the employment arrangement also includes a guarantee of at least the minimum weekly required amount paid on a salary basis.

For example, the exemption is not lost if an exempt employee who is guaranteed at least $455 each week paid on a salary basis also receives overtime compensation based on hours worked for work beyond the normal workweek. And an exempt employee guaranteed at least $455 each week paid on a salary basis may receive additional compensation of a 1 percent commission on sales.

An exempt employee may also receive a percentage of the sales or profits of the employer if the employment arrangement includes, as well, a guarantee of at least $455 each week paid on a salary basis.  (Note: This minimum salary threshold will increase to $913 once new overtime regulations take effect on December 1, 2016)

Such additional compensation may be paid on any basis (e.g., flat sum, bonus payment, straight-time hourly amount, time and a half, or any other basis) and may include paid time off.

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