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Category: California Employment Law
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I was employed as the GM of a manufacturing company in Santa

Resolved Question:

I was employed as the GM of a manufacturing company in Santa Clara.
I was let go last week and the question is that in my letter of employment it states.
"you are eligible for up to $20,000.00 annualy as part of the company performance bonus plan" I have not recieved a penny as a part of this company plan to date.
My question is am I entitled anything?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 5 years ago.

I am an expert at JustAnswer and will be assisting you. I would like to address a few important issues before answering your question.

Please note, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, no legal advice is being provided, no attorney-client relationship will be established and only general information is provided so that you may analyze your situation.


I see that you are asking about an employer provided bonus plan and whether a terminated employee is entitled to a bonus. There is a distinction between a commission and bonus in that a bonus is customarily provided at the discretion of the employer and a commission is a form of pay treated essentially as wages. Bonus payment is discretionary.

There was likely a policy detailing the bonus plan. It would be a good idea to look over that policy, if you can obtain a copy, to determine if the policy defined that pay as discretionary. It is possible that if an employer worded a bonus plan as a definite form of payment after certain goals were met, that it is actually a commission program.

Please feel free to follow-up. These detailed matters are difficult to address in this context
because of the vast number of variables. Sometimes the back and forth dialogue can help us
sort through those issues. My goal is leave you with a satisfactory response.

Please do not forget to accept the answer if the information provided has been satisfactory to this point. We can continue our dialogue with additional follow-up questions even after you press the accept button. Last and most importantly, please be so kind as to leave me positive feedback.

Thank you so much
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I believe that there is no company bonus plan and there never was one.

Therefore I believe that putting it into my original offer letter was disingenuous.

Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 5 years ago.
This is a general employment question in regards XXXXX XXXXX nature of bonus plans. Because bonuses are discretionary in nature, an employer is entirely free not to provide a bonus.
JBaxLaw and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you