What to do if my company offers a bonus for meeting goals and I met my goals but now it refuses to pay because I resigned after the first of the year?

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What to do if my company offers a bonus for meeting goals and I met my goals but now it refuses to pay because I resigned after the first of the year?

The dates for which the bonus is earned are June – December.

Asked on April 3, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, what were the terms under which you worked and pursuant to which you would have earned the bonus? It is legal for an employee to receive a bonus is he/she resigns before it is paid; it is also legal to NOT pay an employee if he or she resigns prior to the date the bonus is paid. (I've worked for companies that had that as their policy.) Therefore, you need to look to what your company's policy was in regards to bonuss. If there was nothing in writing (e.g. in a bonus letter or employee handbook) setting out the policy explicitly, look to past practice--i.e. what was done in the past when other employees left prior to payment of the bonus: were they paid? What was done in the past is what should be done now, if there was no announcement in some fashion of a new policy prior to your resignation.


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