As an at will employee, if i am terminated without cause is the company still required to pay my 2017 bonus?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

As an at will employee, if i am terminated without cause is the company still required to pay my 2017 bonus?

No contract. Do have proof of bonus being paid last 3 yrs and the formula in place. Company trying to get me to sign a 2 yr non-compete going out the door and holding my bonus as ransom. Did acknowledge in separation letter that I am due a bonus but afraid they will withhold if I don’t sign. Do not wish to sign the noncompete as I see no consideration for doing so but feel my bonus is owed for performance this year. Thoughts?

Asked on October 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Only if there was a written bonus or employment contract which by its plain terms guaranteed you a bonus in this situation would they have to pay you: without a contract, even if you received a bonus in prior years or there was some "formula" which the employer used to determine bonuses, gettng a bonus is still discretionary on the employer's part; they may freely decide to not pay it. Only a written contract makes it mandatory, not discretionary. Therefore, they do not need to pay your bonus at all, or could make it contingent on you signing the non-compete.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption