Can I have my company pay my bonus for last year?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I have my company pay my bonus for last year?

I a submitted my resignation to my company, my last day being March 8. March 8 is also the date that bonuses are being paid out for the 2018 year. There is a line in the terms and conditions of the bonus that if termination occurs on or before the pay date the employee is not eligible. I did not know this when I submitted my resignation. I asked to change my termination date to March 11, and they said they didn’t know because the system already said March 8. The terms and conditions are pursuant to state law. Do I have any grounds for trying to fight for my bonus?

Asked on February 25, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, based on what you write, by initially making the 8th your last date, you denied yourself the bonus, unfortunately, under the terms and conditions applicable to your bonus. Once you resign, while an employer may freely and voluntarily choose to let you withdraw the resignation or modify the date thereof, they do not have to: they can hold you to the date you provided, because the person resigning has no right to withdraw or modify it--you are held to what you told them. Once you resign, you resign: you cannot take it back. It doesn't matter if you did not know about the bonus term at that time--many things could come up that would make resigning or resigning on a certain date bad for you (e.g. you resigned to take a another job, then that offer was withdrawn) but the fact that it would be better for you to change your resignation is irrelevant--again, you do not have the right. to withdraw or modify the resignation notice you already provided.

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 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.

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