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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12619
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I was given a severance package after 41 years at a very

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I was given a severance package after 41 years at a very large national major bank. In the package, it stated that I may be eligible for my annual bonus if I worked for the company past Oct. 1st of the year, and was otherwise a satisfactory employee - which I was. I worked until late November of the year. The intent of the provision was obviously that I would not be adversely affected by the layoff - having worked the vast majority of the year. I was a corporate officer, titled Sr. Vice President. I didn't get a bonus and in fact they never contacted me. I wrote to them and they never responded in writing, but told me verbally that the decision was made not to pay severed employees - but employees that were not affected did get their bonuses. I always got bonus's and had received an annual bonus for probably the prior 25 years. I did get a mid year bonus for the year in question, which was targeted to be 35% of my annual bonus/payout. When I was verbally told that there would be no bonus, I was reminded that I did get a mid year one - but the inference was that I did get something so be thankful. However, I reminded them that I did ( per the plan) earn that money - just as I was earning a bonus for the rest of the year. On a conservative basis & even prorating, I figure I would have gotten another appx $22,000. My base was $97K. While the plan clearly stated that it could be changed at any time, it was never changed ( per their statement to me) but that the word "may" was what they were leaning on for their position. BTW, it did not say - may or may not. It just said may. Do you think that the Calif. labor dept. could alter this outcome?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Unfortunately, "may" would not create a contractually enforceable promise. "May" simply expresses a possibility and a possibility is not something that can give rise to a legal claim. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but based on what you have described this is not a situation that the Labor Board would typically be able to rectify.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.