Bonus not paid

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Bonus not paid

I was promised a bonus for the 4th quarter of 2018. My Director told me I was getting it and gave me the amount. Now she said I was not in good standing in the 4th Q and would not be getting it. However I was never told I was not in good standing. Is this legal?

Asked on April 18, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you had an actual written bonus contract with defined targets to get a bonus, which targets you hit or exceeded, they would have to pay you the bonus. But without such a written agreement with defined targets, the bonus is discretionary--that is, at the free will or whim of the employer. Without a written bonus agreement or contract, the employer can decide to not pay you, even if they had previously promised to pay: a non-contractual promise is not legally binding or enforceable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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