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LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 23978
Experience:  9+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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I have a question regarding a retention bonus that i have

Customer Question

Hi I have a question regarding a retention bonus that i have with my current employer but i am considering another company's offer.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: i work in MA but live in NH
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Retention Periods: i have the letter in front of me but cant copy/paste pertinent info
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Good morning. Can you share with me what your question is?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi - how can I send you my retention offer?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Never mind - I just sent you both my offer letter and retention letter from Accenture in December 2015.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. What is your questions / concern?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I already sent it.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Yes, I saw what you uploaded but am unsure as to what I can answer for you. You said you are considering another company's offer, so do you want to know if you take it how the retention bonus applies?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The retention mentions a period from 12/15/15-11/30/16 for the 1st payout, however, it then mentions ways to forfeit it as well as how it can take up to 60 days after the retention period ends to receive payout. If I am employed as of 12/1/16, would I still be entitled to that payout based on what you read?
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. You want to read and review the plan, to see the conditions of the bonus, assuming you meet the requirements, during the state time period(s). By that, I mean as a condition to receiving the bonus, do you need to remain an employee until the entire time period ends or just that one time frame? Or, is it something that once it is earned, you would be entitled to. Typically, a party would wait to receive the bonus before moving, so even though it may take up to 60 days, the employee would wait and start their employment after the money is in hand. If you are an employee, you should be entitled to it but you want and need to make sure that there are no conditions which need to be met, to get the money.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No, I am entitled to the 1st retention bonus from the 1st period of 12/15/15-11/30/16 if I am employed as of that date. I am just concerned about giving my 2-weeks notice in mid-December and then the retention taking 60 days to be paid out but I am no longer at my current employer.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Yes, I certainly understand. What you shared above, does not state anything, as far as I can see, that says that as a condition to receiving the money, you must be employed at the time. That is why I shared that you need to cross reference the Plan which they refer to which they say will control. Eligibility should be clear. It should state if you need to be employed at the time or for the year or how it works. I am inclined to believe there may be something in place to protect the company from someone getting the bonus and leaving and the goal here is to keep employees for the year.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
But the 1st retention period ends on 11/30/16 and I will be employed under that contract for 1-year by then. Wouldn't that be covered if I were to leave in mid-December?
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Yes, if a year employment was a condition to receiving it and you have fulfilled that then you would be entitled to the money. Of course, if you leave thereafter before actually receiving it, you have to hope that the company is reputable and pays out, so you do not have to chance them for your bonus.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do you see anything in that retention letter that prevents them from paying me the 1st retention if I am employed as of 12/1/16 but leave 2 weeks thereafter? I am good standing at my current employer.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

No, there is nothing in the letter which you provided above, that says you would not be entitled to it.

Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
you think that after reading through that retention plan, if I am employed as of 12/1/16 and the 1st retention period ends 11/30/16, that I will be entitled to that first payout regardless if I leave in mid-December and the payout might not be done for up to 60 days after 11/30/16?
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

I think the retention agreement references a Plan. You MUST read that plan and see if it says anything about being employed after the period, to be entitled to the bonus.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Attached is the retention plan that was being referenced. Please provide further insight.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Section 4 could cause a problem. Also, on the first page, "cause" does give them a lot of room to try and get out of paying you.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
How so with cause? My understanding is that the "cause" would only apply during each retention period which in this case is through 11/30/16 and I am currently in good standing at my employer. The way I understand section 4 too is that as long I as I am in good standing and employed as of 11/30/16 (the end of the first retention period), then I am entitled to that 1st retention bonus within 60 days of that date. Do you agree?
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

Yes, I can agree. You should be entitled to it. What I am trying to share and what you should just be aware of, is that if you leave before you get the money, they may try and not pay it, out of spite. If they give you problems, then you have to sue them. That is why I am trying to share that if you are going to be leaving, try and do it once you have the money in hand.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I think I would be entitled to it too. How hard would it be to sue them and ultimately get that money though? Also, how costly?
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 month ago.

I do not think it would be hard at all and if you prevail, they would likely have to pay your attorney fees. The contract is going to control, so unless it is clear, they would likely lose, as long as you met the requirements to be eligible for money.

Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 28 days ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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