Can I sue for not being paid my sign-on bonus?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue for not being paid my sign-on bonus?

I applied for a job at a security company. The advertisement for it said I’d get a $300 sign on

bonus. I was a returning employee but I looked at the ad again and it didn’t say it excluded

returning employees. It’s been a little over 3 months and I haven’t received the bonus yet. I

was told I would get $150 after 30 days then another $150 after 90 days. I’ve yet to see any

of it.

Asked on October 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Depending on the exact wording of the ad (even if didn't specifically say that it was excluding returing employees, if is said anything like "new employees get a bonsus...", that would exclude you as a non-new employee, for example), you may be entitled to the $300. However, before suing, consider whether it's really worthwhile:
1) You'll lose at least one day of work to court, so reduce the value of the $300 by the value of  day at work.
2) It will damage your relationship with your employer and they *will* find ways to take it out on your, even if only in small ways (being less accommodating about your schedule or requested days off or shifts you'd like, for example).
Is the $300 worth it? Especially since even if the language of the ad seems to support your position no court case is every guaranteed (I have cases that I thought would absolutely win, lose, and vice versa), so you could lose time and damage your relationship with your employer and possibly still not get the money.

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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