Winfield, KS asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Kansas

Q: Can a Kansas employer use bonuses to make up the required $684 a week required by law to salaried employee?

I am making 656 a week instead of the 684. My employer has told me that we get two bonuses a year and those bonuses are usually the equivalent of a full pay check and as long as they pay me the minimum 35,568 annually they are legally fine. Is this legal that everyone gets a bonus but only two people's bonuses are used to make up some of the DOL required salary?

1 Lawyer Answer
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH

A: Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, if an employee receives non-discretionary bonuses or other incentive payments at least once per year, then the employer can count those payments towards the employee’s weekly salary to determine whether the salary basis test of at least $684 per week is met. However, there is an important limit to this rule: employers may only use employee bonuses and incentive payments to account for a maximum of 10% of the standard salary level. Thus, employers can only use employee bonuses and incentive payments to account for a maximum of $68.40 per week (10% of the new $684.00 salary threshold). For example, if you make $656 per week and receive a $656 bonus that week, you earn a total of $1,312 that week. However, only $68.40 of your $656 bonus can be counted towards your weekly salary.

These rules also only apply on weeks you receive a bonus. If you don't receive a bonus or other incentive payment on any given week, and you only make $656 that week, then your employer has violated the salary basis rules because you do not make at least $684 per week.

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