What rights do I have to get my unpaid bonus?

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What rights do I have to get my unpaid bonus?

My previous employer owes me my bonus and it has been 2 years. He keeps on pushing it off with excuses and I am tired of being nice, I no longer wish to continue this myself and hope to find someone who can contact him to get this money for me. What rights do I have to do this? I have proof of email where I tired to contact him and excel file to show why he owes me the amount, which is also given to the employer.

Bonus apprx 1980 dollars for 2014-2015

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are only entitled to a bonus IF there was a written employment contract or bonus agreement setting out objective (i.e. not discretionary or subjective) targets for getting a bonus and you provably met or achieved those targets. In this case, since you did your part (hit your targets) they are contractually obligated to do their part (that is, pay you) and if they won't, you could sue them for breach of contract for the money. Suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se" to save legal fees, is a very good option.
But if there is no written bonus agreement, etc., or there is a written agreement but it leaves payment up to employer judgment or discretion, they could simply refuse to pay the bonus; bonuses are only required when in a contract and not subject to discretion.


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