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I was working at a non profit that did not offer benefits.

As a bonus I was...
I was working at a non profit that did not offer benefits. As a bonus I was verbally told by the executive director and board president that I would receive a 3-5% bonus for receiving and maintaining grants I wrote. This was limited to grants that allowed these fees. I left the org, but they received a $30,000 grant I wrote and I sent them N invoice for $900. The have denied this charge stating the president does not recall this agreement and that I was a paid employee, not a contractor. The executive director has backed up my case stating this conversation did take place and that was the agreement we settled on. My boss at time of employment was the executive director. Do I have any legal recourse to get the $900?
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
7/13/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,298
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.

Thanks so much for coming to the site. The answer to your question is yes.

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This is for several reasons

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1. If you are an employee and were promised a wage in exchange for your work, then you are guaranteed that wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Upon your termination of employment, they had to give you that $ within a reasonable time after you left.

2. Even if there is an issue with your ability to prove this, you could file a claim for basically a breach of contract.

Although there may not have been a binding agreement, you may have some recourse under the legal theory of promissory estoppel with your former employer. What this means is that if someone made a promise upon which another person detrimentally relied, then the aggrieved party may be entitled to damages. Promissory estoppel usually requires five (5) things:

1. The defendant made a promise that was clear and unambiguous in its terms

2. The promisee relied on the promise.

3. The reliance on the new promise was reasonable and foreseeable.

4. You were injured by the reliance.

5. Injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise.

Accordingly, you may want to consider just writing a formal demand letter that they either honor their promise or they pay you the reasonable damages that you incurred as a result. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to go to court to have a judge enforce the law. How else can I help today?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
If I am understanding, you are suggesting that I write a demand letter requesting compensation based on a promise made to me. In your opinion if they deny this demand, do I have a good case in claims court. The executive director will say this promise was made.

Yes, that is what I am suggesting. You could also file a wage claim instead of going to court because you were an employee. Wage claims are also free and a quick Google search of your state's employment wage claim/wage theft website will likely allow you to file a complaint today. But first, try the letter. If not, do the wage claim. If you have something that the exec. director can get down in writing confirming this conversation, send that long with the claim.

Did you have any other questions for me today? If not, were you satisfied with my service today:-)?

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you!

You bet!

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