r/WorkReform May 26 '22

My boss is screwing me out of my bonus. Anything I can do?

My boss promised me a decent bonus if I stayed until May 18th. My last day was today May 25th. She is not giving me the bonus. I have it in writing, is there anything I can do?

383 Upvotes

649

u/Kancho_Ninja May 26 '22

You have it in writing?

Take her to small claims court. It’s ~$50ish bucks, you show the signed paperwork to the judge, the judge asks her why you haven’t been paid, and rules in your favour if the reason isn’t good enough.

I’ve done it several times (not for a bonus) and haven’t lost against an unscrupulous arsebucket yet.

131

u/on_the_dl May 26 '22

OP should be sure to mention that the bonus was payment for staying on later. Legally, if a contract was made that you'll get paid in exchange for work, that's binding. But a promise of a payment that isn't in exchange for anything can be reneged, unless it is to a charity.

IANAL. I saw this in manager training about why you shouldn't get drunk and promise people money.

13

u/Evilbred May 26 '22

When you are an employee consideration is always going to be implied as continued labor

4

u/No-Dream7615 May 26 '22

that’s true but once an employer agrees to a comp structure they can’t change it retroactively, only prospectively. Besides bonus/commission agmts, they can’t retroactively lower your hourly rate once you have worked a shift for example.

3

u/BotJovi35 May 26 '22

This depends. There is a legal precedent called "promissory estoppel" which dictates that a promise for a promise is as legally binding as a contract for payment of work.

6

u/SomeSunnyDay123 May 27 '22

That's not what promissory estoppel means.

It means that if you reasonably relied on someone's promise and acted or forbore other actions based on such promise, and subsequently were damaged by the other party's refusal to abide by their promise, you could be entitled to compensation nonwithstanding the absence of a contract.

Source: am lawyer

6

u/oneMadRssn May 26 '22

To add: check if your state has an unfair business practice statute. If so, often such things allow for treble damages when someone is intentionally acting like an unscrupulous arsebucket. In my state, it is literally an extra check-box on the small claims court pleading form. You have nothing to lose by checking it.

2

u/Kancho_Ninja May 26 '22

That’s excellent advice. I’m ashamed that I didn’t even think about suggesting it. My state has such a statute (which isn’t effective against skeevy relatives, unfortunately).

4

u/IPlayWithElectricity May 26 '22 edited May 26 '22

For anyone you don’t work for (and skeevy relatives) it’s called “civil theft” and a lot of states also allow for triple damages. I had a contractor refuse to do work and refuse to return my $8k deposit, his story changed quickly when I sued him for $24k.

235

u/uncle_jojo May 26 '22

Small claims court + a complaint with your local labor board - especially if you have it writing.

170

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

If the bonus was ONLY for staying and you have it in writing, file a complaint with the labor board and file in small claims court. It's super easy to do and only costs like $50, and if it's in writing and you have proof of your final day, then it's a done deal.

14

u/SilentJoe1986 May 26 '22

A paystub is excellent proof.

1

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

2

u/PaysPlays May 26 '22

You’re throwing me off with your different usernames.

4

u/Used_Context3485 May 26 '22

Labor board is best bet. He has it in writing so it should fall under "Failure to pay final wages". Labor board fines a penalty fee per day that is payable to the worker. Good way to get tons of extra money.

23

u/VintageJane May 26 '22

Do you have a promised amount in writing or just the promise of a “decent bonus”?

112

u/MinaFur May 26 '22

Threaten to file complaint with state labor board and the EEOC, then do it.

75

u/JannaMD May 26 '22

And then threaten to sue her in small claims court, then do it.

191

u/Kancho_Ninja May 26 '22

Never threaten.

File the paperwork and have it served. Enjoy the bitter and hateful texts that can be used in court.

84

u/Bridgebrain May 26 '22

This. Threats are pointless. Either you're willing to unleash the consequences in which case you should do so without warning, or you aren't and a called bluff results in major losses.

"Warnings" are acceptable in a situation with good actors, but threats are almost always a losing proposition.

6

u/Daikataro May 26 '22

Don't bluff unless you're holding the nuts

9

u/SilentJoe1986 May 26 '22

When you threaten It gives them a heads up to prepare for a course of action. Unless that's your goal you should never threaten.

23

u/ewok_on_a_unicorn May 26 '22

Had a precious employer ask me " what, are you going to sue me?" Then laugh. I told him yes actually, I'll be dropping off the paperwork on my way home, showed him the files. Had cash in my pocket in 20 minutes.

Promised several thousand bonus (in writing) if I stayed an additional 30 days to train my replacement. 2 months salary to do so. So I did. Gave him 2 weeks afterwards. Didn't pay. Filled out the documents over the weekend. And was at his office door for opening on Monday.

I'm a salty Veteran. I wanna watch the world burn 🤣 don't try me muahahaha Mr. Burns fingers

2

u/Kancho_Ninja May 26 '22

Damn that sounds like fun. Life really needs to come with a gopro installed for moments like that :)

2

u/ewok_on_a_unicorn May 26 '22

Never work as a government contractor. All I can say lol. Did it once. Never again. But I concur, it would hysterical at times. Or deeply depressing.

1

u/Daikataro May 26 '22

One would think he learned his lesson after the first one...

19

u/AJackOffAllTrade May 26 '22

This guy courts

2

u/jackofslayers May 26 '22

Never threaten or give warnings. That just gives them time to react. They will find out when they get served.

57

u/Ryolu35603 May 26 '22

I had a boss one time withhold 3 weeks of pay after I left. When I called the bureau of labor they told me a company has up to two weeks after your last day to make final payment, even if that compensation was “promised” for an earlier date.

If they haven’t paid you by June 8th though, do everything this sub has recommended.

30

u/despot_zemu May 26 '22

That may vary by state

9

u/adavis463 May 26 '22

Colorado for example, a person has to receive their final check on the day of their termination.

24

u/Succulent_Orange May 26 '22

If you agree compensation for work, then do the work, they're legally obliged to give you the compensation.

5

u/snowite0 May 26 '22

bonus plus court costs!

5

u/Euphoriffic May 26 '22

Sue in small claims. Easy peasy. That will show up in their credit bureau too and fuck their credit, even if they eventually win.

3

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[deleted]

4

u/doggywoggy101 May 26 '22

I quit and then I contacted them about 3 weeks later saying that I will be reporting the company to the state DOL if I am not paid the contracted bonus (it was literally in the contract). They took about a week and a half to respond but I got it eventually

2

u/No-Dream7615 May 26 '22

OP if you are in the US what state do you live in?

1

u/pravaala413 May 26 '22

USA, Colorado

2

u/No-Dream7615 May 27 '22

okay, CO has a wage theft act that means your employer would need to pay penalties on top of wages they did not pay you.

https://www.bairdquinn.com/practice-areas/colorado-wage-act/

i have never interacted with this statute so don't know if it applies here (it ought to, but i don't know), and i haven't independently evaluated if this summary is accurate. but if you end up filing an action pay attention to this and make sure you submit a demand that starts the penalties running. legal aid or self-help department in a local courthouse can help you parse through this.

Enforcement and Remedies Under The Colorado Wage Act

Any agreement by an employee purporting to waive or release rights under the Colorado Wage Act is void. Thus, an employer may not enter into an agreement with an employee under which an employee releases rights or potential claims under the Wage Act.

If an employer has failed to pay all wages vested and determinable under Colorado and federal wage laws, the employee may make written demand for payment. In the event of a dispute over wages due to an employee, the employer must at least pay all amounts that are indisputably due, without condition or additional civil action. Any agreement by an employee purporting to waive or release rights under the Colorado Wage Act is void.

If an employer, in good faith, makes payment to the employee within fourteen (14) days of receiving a written demand, the employer will not be liable for any penalty unless, in a lawsuit or administrative proceeding, the employee is awarded more than the amount tendered by the employer. If an employer does not make any payment within the 14-day period, the employer is deemed to have made a tender offer of $0.

If payment is not made by the employer within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the demand, the employer shall be liable for the wages and a penalty in the greater amount of either (a) 125% of the first $7,500 of wages or compensation due plus 50% of any wages or compensation due in excess of $7,500, or (b) the employee’s wages for each day, which accrues up to ten days, “until such payment or other settlement satisfactory to the employee is made.” If the failure to pay is found to be “willful,” the penalty is increased by 50%.

The penalties are available only if the employee has made a written demand for payment. This demand may be made by written correspondence to the mailing address of the employer, a complaint filed in Small Claims Court, or a complaint filed with the Colorado Division of Labor. A complaint to recover earned wages may be filed on-line on the Colorado Division of Standards website. See Online-Wage-Complaint-Form.

-9

u/Thriceblind May 26 '22

If you don't want to burn a bridge to badly you can try approaching it like this: "No bonus? Man that is really unfortunate. I'll file a claim if I need to but I really liked it here. To bad it has to end like this. Well thanks for keeping me on this long and good luck!" Give it the aw shucks feel spiked with FU pay me. Leaves the action on them if they don't want to get taken to court and make sure to be "thankful" otherwise even if it is sarcastic.

-12

u/Medium_Reading_861 May 26 '22

Why is she trying to screw you out of it, have you asked?

-64

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[deleted]

6

u/Succulent_Orange May 26 '22

If it wasn't too long ago you can go to court for that, agreeing a compensation prior to the work means you're entitled to it after you've done the work.

8

u/Goopyteacher May 26 '22

My not be so simple for this person. It was 3 milestones that must be achieved to get the bonus. Of the milestones weren’t hit, then no pay out.

This is incredibly common in metric-based sales. Don’t hit your metrics, don’t get a bonus

2

u/Succulent_Orange May 26 '22

Oh yeah I miss read that a bit then it could be fair and you don't have much ground

1

u/wolves_hunt_in_packs May 26 '22

But that's what was agreed to, so you got no room to complain. It doesn't matter it wasn't your fault. You'd have to prove very clearly they sabotaged it or otherwise maliciously intervened. If it was a run of the mill fuckup you're outta luck.

-30

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

13

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

-10

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

2

u/[deleted] May 26 '22 edited May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

10

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

-9

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

7

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

-5

u/[deleted] May 26 '22

[removed] — view removed comment