Is it illegal for an employer to steal bonuses?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it illegal for an employer to steal bonuses?

I work for a company that sells copiers. The copiers are bought from a vendor and then sold to customers. The vendor gives reward points that equal dollars for items sold. My employer is stealing my reward points and keeping them for himself, which means he’s taking points and getting money for them that should be mine. Is this illegal and can I have something done about it?

Asked on May 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the arrangement with the vendor--if the vendor gives them to the *company*  selling its copies, then there is no "stealing" going on: whether it's fair or not, your employer is the one which gets these rewards. Just because you did the work doesn't guaranty you get the rewards--usually, the rewards, incentives, etc. go to the company, not the company's employees. Only if the rewards are actually given by the vendor to *you* and then after you receive them, the employer takes them (essentially like the employer taking a gift card addressed to you personally) might this be illegal.

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