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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18809
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Our employer just implemented a four month salary bonus

Customer Question

Our employer just implemented a four month salary bonus incentive plan that incorporates the following criteria:
5% for 0 tardy & 0 days missed
3% for 1-2 occurrences
1% for 3
This includes not being able to use any accrued sick or personal leave time. Is this completely legal to do?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

It is partially legal. In employment law, the provision of vacation and sick leave is not required. Furthermore, the provision of a bonus is not legally required So, because they are not required an employer can set limitations on how they are received or use. So, it would be legal for the employer to discourage vacation/sick leave use in order to obtain a bonus that they don't have to give in the first place.

The one concern that I have is that some sick leave could also be Family Medical Leave, which is a protected form of leave for handling serious medical conditions. It is illegal to punish someone for using FMLA, so if the used time off is FMLA, the employer CAN'T persist in this penalty. As long as the employer respects that (assuming they are covered by the FMLA as an employer with more than 50 people), then the bonus incentive plan is legal.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.