Enforeceability of Employee Bonuses | Mann & Elias

We Are Expert Employment Attorneys for Bonus Disputes

You work hard in your job. Bonuses are included as part of your work contract. If you have met the requirements for such a bonus, then you should receive it. The failure of your company to deliver is wrong and in many cases illegal. You have the right to protect your rights and financial interests. A Los Angeles employment lawyer can help you do so.

Your employer is legally obligated to pay employee bonuses if it is in the employment contract you signed. In some instances, an employer can be made to pay a bonus that was promised through oral agreement. In these cases, it is helpful to get the testimony of witnesses to the agreement. And not even then is your claim secure.

How Courts View Bonuses

Courts view bonuses as part of a contract between employer and employee. They are a form of exchange: you give some specific thing of value and your employer is obligated to compensate you with a specific sum of money. Bonuses are only valid for future work; they do not apply to work already done.

Promised Bonuses That Are Not in the Contract

Courts will consider bonus promises that are not explicitly set down in the employment contract. A judge may hold an employer liable on the legal basis of detrimental reliance. This is a principle of law in which a promise was made for which it is reasonable for a person to rely on and for which they will suffer harm if the promise is not kept.

The courts will only invoke this principal for cases that present serious injustice. If, for example, your boss promises you a bonus that they do not put in writing. You decide to use your savings or borrow money to a down payment on a new house. Before going through with the transaction, you ask your boss to confirm that you will get the promised bonus on a set date. The date comes and goes, and you get no bonus. You go back to your boss to ask about the bonus and discover that they have reversed themselves. This is the kind of case that a court will consider under detrimental reliance.

Receiving a Bonus After Termination

It is hard to get a bonus if you leave the company before receiving it or you are fired for cause. In some instances, courts have ordered employers to pay full or partial bonuses if the employee met all the requirements of receiving the money and left the company just before they were supposed to receive the money. This order is usually given in cases in which the employee left the company on good terms.

When to Call a Lawyer

If you believe you have been denied a promised bonus or have not received in full what you have been promised, you will feel a sense of frustration. In some cases, employers can be reasoned with and the problems with getting your bonus resolved. In other instances, the denial of your bonus is an act of bad faith on the part of your lawyer. You should not try to handle the matter on your own. You should call a Los Angeles employment lawyer.

Getting Justice and Your Bonus

Los Angeles bonus disputes lawyers specialize in handling cases like yours. Los Angeles bonus disputes lawyers have the skills and experience to carry out a thorough analysis of the facts and circumstances of the promised bonus and provide you with the representation you need to get the money you have worked so hard for.

The first thing your lawyer will do is review your contract to determine if it contains language setting out the criteria and schedule of a bonus. If it does and your employer believes they can reverse themselves on a whim, bonus dispute attorneys Los Angeles know how to undermine whatever excuse they try to put forward. Some employers act in bad faith because they believe they can get away with it; that employers will be too timid to go up against them and risk losing their job and a good reference. In cases like these, judges will not only force the employer to pay the bonus, they will also order employment protections for the plaintiff.

Bonus dispute attorneys Los Angeles can also help in cases in which a contract does not include an employee bonus. In these instances, bonus dispute attorneys will establish a case for detrimental reliance. The bonus dispute lawyers you hire will gather the evidence necessary to show that you had a reasonable expectation of receiving a bonus.

If you have been unfairly treated by your employer, you should call an attorney. Bonus dispute lawyers can provide you with the legal insight you need to get justice if you have been denied your bonus.

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