When Can Employers Prorate Bonus Payments Around FMLA Leave? | Mann & Elias
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When Can Employers Prorate Bonus Payments Around FMLA Leave?

Are You Looking for an Employment Lawyer for Bonus Disputes in Los Angeles?

Employees who work in sales positions or jobs where bonus payments are part of their pay structure have come to count on this income to help support themselves and their families. However, suppose the time comes when an employee needs to take a medical leave of absence from their job via the Family and Medical Leave Act.

In that case, their employer may choose to begin prorating their bonus payments, severely impacting their income at a time when many can least afford it. Should you be facing such a situation and have reason to believe your employer has no right to prorate your bonus payments it may be time to discuss your case with a trusted employment attorney in Los Angeles.

All Absences Must be Treated Equally

When an employer prorated bonus payments of employees on FMLA leave, it is important that those bonus payments have also been prorated for other employees on non-FMLA leave. According to FMLA regulations, payments of this nature may be denied unless paid to employees on equivalent leave status. If you have questions about this area of FMLA regulations and how your employer has interpreted these regulations, listen to the advice of Los Angeles lawyers for prorate bonus payments.

Know Your Employer’s Leave Policy

When you are employed in a position where bonus payments are given to you for meeting performance standards, you must make every attempt to familiarize yourself with your company’s policy on leave time and how it can apply to bonus payments. While most companies do have their rules and regulations spelled out, others may not.

As a result misunderstandings can occur, or employers may decide to do whatever they choose, which can violate employee rights and, in some cases state and federal law depending on what happened. Rather than say nothing and possibly lose out on bonus payments to which you were entitled, seek legal counsel from attorneys for bonus disputes and learn how your case could proceed.

Bonus Payments

With many employers, goal-oriented and performance-based bonuses make up a substantial part of their employee’s pay and help the company achieve many of its goals. In many companies, these bonuses are paid out based on perfect attendance, meeting sales goals, and other factors. These bonus payments are not grouped into the same category as those made to all company employees. That includes holiday pay or bonuses for the company making a certain level of profit for the year.

Using Paid Time Off

In some instances, employees will choose to use paid time off for non-FMLA leave. If they do and qualify for a bonus, your employer is required to allow you to be eligible for that same bonus should you choose to use paid time off for FMLA leave. If this fails to happen, you should speak to an attorney to better understand your employer has violated your employment rights. Since your employer does have certain responsibilities they are expected to live up to with their employees, don’t let your questions go unanswered.

Having Clear Standards

If employers want to avoid violating employee rights regarding bonus payments, there are many things they can do. One of the best is to identify the criteria needed to qualify for a bonus, which can prevent many misunderstandings. Also, they can make sure the prorated bonus payments are calculated in the same manner for employees who are on FMLA leave and those who are on other types of unpaid leave.

Finally, employers should always make sure bonus payments are paid out to employees based on how much work they put into meeting the goal, be it working a certain number of hours, selling a certain amount of products, or other standards. If your employer does not have clear standards and has failed to adequately address your concerns about the prorated bonus payments you received, allow employment attorneys to handle your case.

Proving Your Case

Courts across the country have often dismissed cases of this nature. As a result, strong evidence is needed to demonstrate your employment rights have been violated. To do so, you should always have copies of any written policies your employer has regarding bonus payments and the criteria employees must meet to qualify for the extra payments.

Along with this you should also have specific details regarding your FMLA leave time, including when you took the leave and how long you were away from your job. By having this information, you may show the court you did in fact contribute to helping the company meet its goals. Should you fail to have such information, your employer could claim your leave time coincided with the time needed to fulfill various performance goals. Due to the many complex issues that will be discussed regarding your case, it will take the expertise of lawyers to navigate your case from start to finish.

As a hard-working employee who has always played by the rules and took FMLA to leave in good faith, you deserve to get paid everything to which you are entitled. If you fail to act quickly and hold your employer accountable for their actions, you may regret it forever. When the time comes that you need to sue for unpaid bonuses, get in touch immediately with the knowledgeable employment attorneys for bonus disputes at the law firm of Mann Elias.


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