If my employer gave everybody, from office to warehouse staff a bonus except for me, is this legal?

UPDATED: Dec 21, 2015

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If my employer gave everybody, from office to warehouse staff a bonus except for me, is this legal?

I have been with the company 1 1/2 years, he did the same thing last year but I didn’t say much because I had only been with the company 6 months. However, this year it happened again. No bonus for me but yes for everybody else.

Asked on December 21, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately this is legal. That is unless your not reciveing a bonus violates company policy or the term of an employment contract or union agreement. The fact is that most work relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes who does or doesn't get a bonus.
Contrary to popular belief, not all employes need be treated the same or even fairly. The only time different treatment in the worklpace is actionable is if it contitutes legal discrimination. So unless you have been denied a bonus on the basis being in a "protected class" you have no legal claim. In other words, you must not have been treated differently based on your age, disability, race, religion, gender, nationality or sexual orientation.

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