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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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My company offered a bonus to employees if the company as a

Customer Question

My company offered a bonus to employees if the company as a whole met certain goals, and then another bonus if a particular branch met designated goals. We were told at the beginning of our fiscal year (July- June) about the bonus. Our company and branch both met the goals so our branch manager announced in staff meeting (all employees together) that we made goal and everyone would be getting the bonuses, with the exception of one. She would be getting a bonus as well but her amount would be prorated because she was on maternity leave. No other employees were prorated due to absenses or vacations. Doesn't FMLA protect your from being singled out due to being on maternity leave?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

To clarify, was this employee out on unpaid maternity leave through FMLA (after or before exhausting all paid sick time) from the employer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
On unpaid FMLA. She was out for 7-8 weeks with the baby.
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.
Hello Debiie,

Thank you for that clarification.

Can you tell me if the other employees who were out were using paid time off for their absences and vacations or not?

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.
Hello Debbie,

Unfortunately, this would not constitute discrimination or retalation on the basis of your use of FMLA leave. The other employees who did not receive deductions in their bonus amounts took paid time off through absences and vacations, which is the same as staying at work.

However, the use of FMLA leave means that you were not working during that time period, so it is perfectly legal for your employer to prorate the bonus amount based on the amount of time that you were out of work on FMLA leave. The law only protects against discrimination and unfair treatment on the basis of FMLA leave. So, for instance, if your employer reduced your wages or denied you the opportunity to receive any bonus that could constitute illegal discrimination and/or retaliation.

But the law does not prevent your employer from giving you a pro rated bonus amount since you were not working while you were on FMLA leave.

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely wish I had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Thanks and best of luck!

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.
Hello Debbie,

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions regarding the above information.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

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