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e-Li: Electronic Library

Highly Compensated Worker Exemption

The regulations create a special category of exemption for employees who earn $132,964 or more per year, known as the “highly compensated worker” rule. An employee meets this exemption if he or she meets the following requirements:[1]

  1. The employee earns total annual compensation of $132,964 or more, which includes at least $844 per week paid on a salary or fee basis;
  2. The employee’s primary duty includes performing office or non-manual work; and
  3. The employee customarily and regularly performs at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee.

[1] The requirements are set out in 29 C.F.R. § 541.601.