I am working with a corporate and have resigned on 14th Feb 2017 and serving a notice period of 3 months, however have worked for a complete year of 2016. My organization pays bonus only in April and says I would not be eligible for a performance bonus as I have resigned. I wanted to confirm if that is true as per law or am I entitled for a bonus as that would be for the 2016 that I have completed on payrolls.

Thank you

Sushil Lakhani

Asked on March 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Did you have a written bonus agreement? Did your employers action violate the terms of a union agreement or employment contract? Did it in some way constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then not paying you your bonus was legal. The fact is that in an "at will" work arrangement, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes whether or not to give bonuses and, if it does, just how they are paid out.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF you had a written bonus agreement which set objective or measurable goals to get a bonus (i.e. did not leave it up to your employer's discretion) and under the terms of which, you would get the bonus even though you resigned now, then you are entitled to the bonus; such an agreement is a contract and may be enforced in the courts (i.e. by a lawsuit) like any other contract.
However, otherwise--if there was no written agreement; or if it left matters to your employer's discretion; or it stated that you lost the bonus if you give notice or resign; etc.--then your employer could decline to pay you.
Bonuses are not guaranted by law--they are up to employer discretion except as guaranteed by a contract.

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