Am i guranteed my bonus for 2015 if i was laid off in 2016

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Am i guranteed my bonus for 2015 if i was laid off in 2016

I was laid off in 2016 and was never paid my bonus fro 2015. A bonus was offered to me in my original offer letter for 20 of my salary. I did not receive a bonus nor did I receive the Christmas bonus because I was supposed to receive a year end bonus. They said it would be base on my year end performance review which was never completed. Per HR, they sais they verbally spoke with my manager and he verbally said a bonus will not be rewarded. Please advise….

Asked on June 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Bring a copy of the offer letter to an employment law attorney to review with you. If the terms of the letter and the circumstances under which you accepted the job constitute a contract--and note: usually offer letters do not form enforceable contracts, but they can under limited circumstances, which is why you need an attorney to review the terms of the letter and the situation with you--then if under the terms of the letter, they should have paid you a bonus, you could potentially bring a breach of contract lawsuit to recover the money. However, if--
* no enforceable contract was formed by the offer letter; and/or
* under the terms of the letter, they did not have to pay you the bonus
--then your employer is free to not pay you. That is because the law generally never requires bonuses: they are only required when there is an enforceable contract calling for them. That is why it is critical that you have an attorney review the letter and situation with you, to see if you have any enforceable rights under it.


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