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Bonus for exempt workers: What’s the best way?

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Q. Everyone has been working extra hard this year, especially our exempt salaried employees. We want to reward them with extra pay. Can we pay them overtime if they put in more than, say, 50 hours in a week? Or is it better to offer a one-time bonus? I don’t want to affect their exempt status. — C.R., Virginia

A. If you pay an hourly premium to an employee who is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the employee might start to look more like an hourly, nonexempt employee. The safer course would be to pay a one-time bonus in recognition of the hard work and extra hours.

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