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I am a 20 year employee and am leaving the company due to…

Customer Question
I am a 20...

I am a 20 year employee and am leaving the company due to unfair treatment (I'm quitting) and am negotiating my bonus and departure date. It's complicated, but I've been lied to and not been adequately compensated for my contribution to a recent investor transaction.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR?

I have most of it documented, but I have not discussed with our HR department

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I'm a full-time, salaried employee. It's an "at will" employment arrangement.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

About 40%+ of my compensation is in the form of annual bonus (I'm the Financial controller)

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
11/30/2017
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,998
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

What is your specific question for us, since you are an at will employee?

Did you still have a contract with them specifying your pay structure? You are saying they are violating that agreement?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
There is no contract. I expect to be paid my annual bonus now, which isn't ordinarily payable until March 15th, but I'm quitting, so technically they could say I get nothing. However, the reason I'm leaving after 20 years is because they promised me considerable compensation related to the completion of an investor transaction (a $350 million deal, the owners/my bosses are walking away with over $150 million in cash), and I'm getting nothing. Giving me my bonus is really all I'm after at this point, but I'm not sure what my options are. Because they lied to me and are now telling me "too bad", it seems like they're retaliating against me for even expecting compensation related to the additional work I put into this deal.
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

As you may, or may not, know a bonus at law is considered gratuitous from the employer to the employee. You as an employee cannot force the employer to pay bonus payment before it is due and the employer can require someone to be currently employed to receive said bonus payment, as bonus is discretionary to the employer and is not governed by law.

This is why I asked about the contract or any contract for the investor transaction promise you alleged they entered into with you.

All you can do in a case where there was no written contract and at will employment is negotiate the matter with them for payment, but you do not have (or have not stated) any leverage to force them to pay you for that bonus. This is why written contracts should be used in these types of employment situations, even for at will employees, to avoid any mistakes, misunderstandings or lies.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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