If I quit and my employer was angry, can they deduct the amount of my recent bonus from my last paycheck?

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If I quit and my employer was angry, can they deduct the amount of my recent bonus from my last paycheck?

I worked at a company for 3 weeks and they gave me a $250 ($200 after taxes)Christmas bonus. Well I quit the following week for a much better job and they got mad and said they were going to deduct it from my last check? Is this legal?

Asked on January 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A bonus is a discretionary benefit that need not be paid. However, once it is, it then becomes the employee's property and cannot be taken back (absent fraud, etc.). Further, no deductions can be made from an employee's paycheck without their written consent. Bottom line, based on the limited facts pesented, it appears that your employer's action was illegal. At this point you can contact your state's department of labor for further information. Also, you can sue for the return of your money in small claims court.


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