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 Tibbetts

No. The salary level threshold is based on salary alone (of which up to 10% may comprise nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments); 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.