If my boss set up a bonus payout when we started work, how can we make sure that he pays it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my boss set up a bonus payout when we started work, how can we make sure that he pays it?

Over the years he’s paid out some of it but not all. It has gotten into the thousands now and he hasn’t paid anything for a while. He keeps putting us off saying that he will catch it up later. This concerns me, if he will ever pay. Is there some action we can take to assure that we will get paid.

Asked on November 19, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether there was a written bonus agreement or employment contract setting out criteria to earn the bonus--which criteria you met--or whether it was discretionary, in the sense that your boss simply, on his own, decided to pay you a bonus, withou you having to accomplish certain goals or targets.
If there a written agreement setting out what you had to do to earn the bonus, and you did those things, then you should be entitled to it contractually; if your boss doesn't pay the bonus, you could sue him for breach of contract to get the money.
But if it was a discretionary bonus, it's at his complete and total discretion: he can pay it if and when he wants to, or not.

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