Can my employer give everyone a yearly bonus but not me?

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Can my employer give everyone a yearly bonus but not me?

Injured at work 7 months ago and had surgery 2 months later. I have been on workman’s comp since then. I did not receive a yearly bonus but everyone else, including a new employee of one month, did. Is this a form of discrimination?

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, it's almost certainly not discrimination. First, if you don't have an actual official bonus plan or employment agreement laying out your bonus and setting the criteria for getting it, then it's purely discretionary to get a bonus at all--the law does not require it. That means the company can freely decide who gets a bonus and who doesn't. Since there is no right to a discretionary bonus, there is no claim for not receiving one.

If you do have an official bonus plan, then the company should honor its terms. Check the plan versus your accomplishments and performance--did you in fact qualify this last year?


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