Do I have possible grounds against a former employer for unpaid bonuses?

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Do I have possible grounds against a former employer for unpaid bonuses?

My former employer promised me that I would received minimum bonuses each year in the amount of $10,000. At first the promises were just verbal so I figure that those are his word against mine. About two years ago, he forward me that template that would be used to calculate my annual bonuses and I have retained a copy of the e-mail and template. None of the bonuses were ever paid or even evaluated.

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For a definitive answer, you have to consult with an employement attorney, who can evaluate the bonus template, your performance against that template, and whatever was said to you by the employer in detail. There is no way to answer in generalities: while the law does not generally require companies to pay bonuses, clearly, if there is a contractual agreement to do so--which agreement can sometimes be found in oral agreements, or formed from other correspondence, memos, etc., even without a formal written contract--that is enforceable. Therefore, the answer depends on what was said and how, and how your performance measures against that. Given how much money is potentially at stake, it would be well worth your while to consult with an employment attorney. Good luck.


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