Q & A – Can I give a bonus?

Q. Can I give a bonus?

A. Bonuses are distinguished from incentives in that they are often given after the fact.  For example, an employer sustains a financial profit and says thank you by giving employees a Christmas bonus.  Employees may not have expected it; however, as time goes on, it can become an entitlement.

The best manner in which to provide bonuses includes a plan and communicating that plan to employees. If an employee is non-exempt and earns a bonus, the employer may be required to include that bonus in the regular rate for the purposes of calculating overtime.