What to do if I was fired 3 weeks into my 4th quarter at a financial office, and they are refusing to pay my 3rd quarter bonus?

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2012

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What to do if I was fired 3 weeks into my 4th quarter at a financial office, and they are refusing to pay my 3rd quarter bonus?

This is paid out every quarter pending you made money. They issue checks about a month or so after the quarters end. Now they are saying that because I didn’t work for them on the date the check was issued I can not receive it. Legal?

Asked on November 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It would be legal for a company to have a bonus policy that bonuses are only paid if the employee was still present and employed as of the date the bonus is paid--one of my former employers had that very policy.

The issue is whether this was in fact the policy of your employer as when you were terminated. If it was, they don't have to pay your bonus; but if it was not the policy, and if you can show that they were in fact paying out bonuses to people terminated before date of payment, then the employer may not arbitrarily choose to not pay you; rather, it must follow whatever policy was in effect as of your termination.

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