If everyone got a year end bonus but me, is that legal?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If everyone got a year end bonus but me, is that legal?

I have been with my company for over 5 years. I recently gave them notice, as I have decided to go different ways with my career. I gave them the proper amount of notice, more so even, and have been with them the entire year. When the year end bonus

came out, everyone received a bonus but me, all because I have given them notice. Apparently, the entire year and previous 4 years I’ve been with them mean nothing. Can they do this?

Asked on December 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Is your bonus guaranteed under the terms of an employment contract  or union agreement? Is your not receiving one the result of some form of legally actionable discrimination? In other words, is not getting a bonus due to your race, religion, disability, age (over 40), national origin or the like? If not, then you have no recourse here. The fact is that most employment is "at will", therefore, absent discrimination or an agreement to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. Additionally, bonuses are given at an employer's discretion. Accordingly, it can choose who, when and why a worker does or does not receive one.

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.

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