Can I be Refused my Bonuses if I get Fired?

By: JML Law | June 1, 2018.
Can I be Refused my Bonuses if I get Fired?

In some areas of work such as tech it is common to terminate an employee’s terms of employment to try and avoid giving out bonuses and awards earned over their employment. If there is enough proof to show that the reason you were terminated was because of the lack of wanting to pay this bonus, especially if the sum of the bonus was large then you may have a case against your employers.

Factors to show that you have a strong claim:

  1. The termination of an employee that gives a very high performance.
  2. Termination of an employee on unreasonable and petty grounds.
  3. The correct procedures for termination of employment were not followed as per the law and the guidelines of the company.
  4. The date of termination was very close to the date of the payment of the bonus due.

Are you legally allowed to not receive your bonus due to termination

There are two different types of bonuses that you can earn during your employment with a company. You can earn bonuses or receive bonuses as rewards and incentives. Any bonuses that have been earned, are treated within the state of California as wages. California law also states that an employer is not allowed to withhold information due to a termination of employment against their will. An employer cannot take away the employees’ bonus without any rhyme or reason, they have to have a valid reason to do so.

What reasons can an employer give to not pay a bonus

One of the main reasons and explanations that are given by employers for terminating a contract, with the intent to not pay out a bonus to their employee, is that the contract was terminated with the will of the employee and that it was not against their will. The one thing that many people do not realize about this reason is that if the employee has terminated their employment at will then it is terminated with legal reasons, then wages including any earned bonuses do not have to be paid.

If this defense fails then the next argument that is presented is that bonus structures with a company can be changed, without any notice. The pitfalls to this argument are that an employer is still liable to pay any wages that have been earned prior to the exact day of the changes must be paid to the employee.

Even though bonuses are only paid to current employees if there is a basis to prove that an employee’s termination was, purely for the reason to avoid paying the bonuses due especially if the bonuses due was a large amount, then it is very likely you are rightfully due for the bonuses.

If you have been faced by wrongful termination to avoid you receiving bonuses you were due then wrongful termination lawyers in Los Angeles are here to fight for your rights and get your employer to pay you what you are rightfully due. If you need advice and help from a wrongful termination attorney in Los Angeles call JML law on 818-610-8800.

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