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work and bonus question
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 14, 2018 04:44PM
my old employer provides a "management bonus". The fiscal year is July 1-June 30 and they pay it in the fall. So right now they pay the bonus for FY July 1 2017-June 30 2018.

I left my job in May. I found out that I do not get the bonus. "You have to be an active employee" is the official reason. I know a colleague that left the company a few years earlier got a prorated bonus. I would have expected the same (11/12). But now they say no.

I read the letter where they inform me about the bonus and this little detail is not mentioned anywhere.

I would like to know if this is legal or not. One could argue that the bonus is part of the compensation and basically you work for them 11 months and miss out. or worse you could even work full fiscal year, leave early September and still miss out on the bonus for previous fiscal year.

I find this unfair, but I would like to know if it is even legal.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2018 04:45PM by space-time.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 14, 2018 04:53PM
I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL ) nor do I play one on TV, but....

If you still have the employee handbook, refer to that. If you do not, contact a friend who still works there and find out if it's shown that way. Unless, in your position, you were actually working within a contract. In that case, refer to the contract. And if you think you have a case, talk to a good lawyer (bring documentation).

My company is kind of famous for their bonus. They changed the policy a few years ago so if you are not there for any reason OTHER than retirement, you're un-bonused. But they wrote it down. And yeah, at that point a number of people left just before it took effect.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: PeterW
Date: September 14, 2018 04:56PM
If you really want to know if it’s legal, contact an employment attorney who practices in your state as those laws are state-specific.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 14, 2018 05:06PM
I see it as a bonus available to employees who were there from one defined date to another. You weren't, so no bonus. Unless there is an employee who left the same year as you, that received the bonus, then you really don't have much to stand on.

Of course it never hurts to ask.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 14, 2018 05:46PM
Quote
Ombligo
I see it as a bonus available to employees who were there from one defined date to another. You weren't, so no bonus. Unless there is an employee who left the same year as you, that received the bonus, then you really don't have much to stand on.

Of course it never hurts to ask.

fair enough. I did leave at the end of May, so yes, they could argue that. I guess.

But apparently if one were to quit last week, they would still not get the bonus, despite working there the entire last fiscal year and 2+ months in the new fiscal year. That really seems unfair.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: September 14, 2018 06:09PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
Ombligo
I see it as a bonus available to employees who were there from one defined date to another. You weren't, so no bonus. Unless there is an employee who left the same year as you, that received the bonus, then you really don't have much to stand on.

Of course it never hurts to ask.

fair enough. I did leave at the end of May, so yes, they could argue that. I guess.

But apparently if one were to quit last week, they would still not get the bonus, despite working there the entire last fiscal year and 2+ months in the new fiscal year. That really seems unfair.

That's the way my employer manages the bonuses. Not a current employee, no bonus.

It's been discussed quite a bit. The consensus is that if you're gonna quit, do it 3-4 weeks after the turn of the quarter. (Bonus gets processed for the second payroll after the turn of the quarter and payroll is bi-weekly.)



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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 14, 2018 06:09PM
That really seems unfair.

There's a big difference between being an "or" and an "ee"..., fairness aside, usually it's considerably better to be an "or", as it it seems you are now discovering after having been an "ee".
Good luck.
==
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: $tevie
Date: September 14, 2018 06:16PM
I do realize that most places include the bonus when they discuss compensation. But how retroactive are they supposed to make it? If you quit one month into the fiscal year should you get 1/12th of the bonus? What happen if the bonus turns out to be larger than anticipated? Do they have to find you and give the extra amount for that one month? It would open a huge can of worms to give bonuses to people who aren't working there. The fact that it is referred to as a bonus to me says that it is only for people who are there when it is issued.



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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 14, 2018 06:23PM
Quote
$tevie
I do realize that most places include the bonus when they discuss compensation. But how retroactive are they supposed to make it? If you quit one month into the fiscal year should you get 1/12th of the bonus? What happen if the bonus turns out to be larger than anticipated? Do they have to find you and give the extra amount for that one month? It would open a huge can of worms to give bonuses to people who aren't working there. The fact that it is referred to as a bonus to me says that it is only for people who are there when it is issued.

Like vacation. Why should a former employer pay accrued vacation time since once you leave the company, you don't need a vacation from that employer.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: timg
Date: September 14, 2018 06:35PM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
$tevie
I do realize that most places include the bonus when they discuss compensation. But how retroactive are they supposed to make it? If you quit one month into the fiscal year should you get 1/12th of the bonus? What happen if the bonus turns out to be larger than anticipated? Do they have to find you and give the extra amount for that one month? It would open a huge can of worms to give bonuses to people who aren't working there. The fact that it is referred to as a bonus to me says that it is only for people who are there when it is issued.

Like vacation. Why should a former employer pay accrued vacation time since once you leave the company, you don't need a vacation from that employer.

That's not quite right. Vacation time accrued has to be paid out to the employee as you have already earned that. Bonuses can be worded in such a way that you must be an employee of the company at the time the bonus is paid (as well as during the period that the bonus covers, of course).



Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Imagination without skill is Modern Art.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 14, 2018 06:36PM
Quote
Speedy
...
Like vacation. Why should a former employer pay accrued vacation time since once you leave the company, you don't need a vacation from that employer.

I did get paid for the unused vacation days.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: $tevie
Date: September 14, 2018 08:32PM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
$tevie
I do realize that most places include the bonus when they discuss compensation. But how retroactive are they supposed to make it? If you quit one month into the fiscal year should you get 1/12th of the bonus? What happen if the bonus turns out to be larger than anticipated? Do they have to find you and give the extra amount for that one month? It would open a huge can of worms to give bonuses to people who aren't working there. The fact that it is referred to as a bonus to me says that it is only for people who are there when it is issued.

Like vacation. Why should a former employer pay accrued vacation time since once you leave the company, you don't need a vacation from that employer.
That's because vacation time is baked into your company handbook. Technically, a bonus is a bonus. They don't have to give anybody a bonus at all. I know because I've been at several places that skipped bonuses during tight years, and there is no recourse for not getting a "gift" like a bonus.



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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: max
Date: September 15, 2018 02:19AM
The primary function of a bonus from the employer 's point of view is employee retention.
Retirement is a different situation, so is profit sharing.
You left, there is no retention, ergo no bonus....
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 15, 2018 04:15PM
Quote
timg
Vacation time accrued has to be paid out to the employee as you have already earned that.

Thats changing. My wife's previous employer didn't pay out for unused vacation. Neither does my current employer. But my previous employer did.



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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: Forrest
Date: September 15, 2018 04:41PM
You should have negotiated your bonus prior to leaving the company. I don't think there's anything you can do about it now.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 15, 2018 05:41PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
timg
Vacation time accrued has to be paid out to the employee as you have already earned that.

Thats changing. My wife's previous employer didn't pay out for unused vacation. Neither does my current employer. But my previous employer did.

then here is a strategy: when you're about to quit, use the damn vacation days.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 15, 2018 05:49PM
Quote
Forrest
You should have negotiated your bonus prior to leaving the company. I don't think there's anything you can do about it now.

of course I do not expect anything from them. Water under the bridge at this point.

But they called me once after I left, to help with some advice, and there is a decent probability that something breaks and they may need my help to fix it. Last time it happened they had their production engineers work on the damn machine for 2 months, including service from the manufacturer. they just could not get the process stable.

I used to work in development I was called to help in production line. my boss told me to not help them, to stay focused on new product development and let their engineers fix the machines. well one week my boss was out of office and then the CEO asked me to go and help. I reluctantly went it (after informing the boss) and got the damn machine running in half day. I got a big thank you, but that was it.

let's hope that does not happen again because it would be very interesting.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2018 05:52PM by space-time.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: morlock
Date: September 15, 2018 06:53PM
Yep, make sure they know and agree to your rate before you leave the house.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 15, 2018 07:42PM
Quote
morlock
Yep, make sure they know and agree to your rate before you leave the house.

sure, it will be $2000 per hour, min 8 hours. I am NOT f. kidding.

EDIT: CASH.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2018 07:44PM by space-time.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: Forrest
Date: September 15, 2018 08:42PM
Good idea - sounds like you could talk your old company into a consulting gig.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: September 17, 2018 02:05PM
That's why I don't quit.

I just stop showing up and keep getting paid.

Eventually they fire me.
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Re: work and bonus question
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: September 17, 2018 03:35PM
Bonuses like this are just another way for employers to screw employees.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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