Is the salary level threshold for determining exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act based on salary and the cost of benefits?

Author: Deborah J. Tibbetts, Esq.

No. The salary level threshold is based on salary alone; the cost of benefits is not included. Salaries must be paid in cash. Therefore, an employer may not count noncash items of value, including housing, meals, tuition credits and store merchandise, toward the threshold.