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In addition to a base salary, some employers pay an annual bonus to employees, often at the end of the calendar year.   Bonuses can be tied to employee performance, such as a formal employee performance review.  In this sense, the bonus is used as a reward of employees’ quality of work, rather than hours or other quantities of work that employers use to pay base wages. 

  • Employers are generally not obligated to provide employees bonuses, so long as they meet the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and any applicable State wage and hour laws.
  • As far as non-exempt employees are concerned, the FLSA, with some exceptions, requires bonus payments to be included as part of an employee's regular rate of pay in computing overtime.

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