As an employee, you can receive many types of compensation from your employer. In addition to your salary, you may be in line to receive bonuses every now and again (or scheduled at certain times of the year).
If your employer is holding back a bonus, it’s critical to understand the circumstances and your legal rights.
To start, review your employment contract to better understand if it includes bonus promises. If it’s written into your contract, it’s much easier to enforce. This is why it’s so important to negotiate bonuses into a contract, as opposed to simply hoping your employer lives up to its word in the future.
From there, answer questions such as:
- Have you received bonuses in the past?
- Were the bonuses promised to you or paid out at random and as decided on by your employer?
- Were you provided a reason as to why the bonus was not paid?
Along with the above, you also need to consider your current standing with the company. For instance, fighting for a bonus when you’re employed is not the same as it is after termination. Just because you’re not working for the company doesn’t mean you don’t have a legal right to a bonus or partial payment, but it can complicate your situation.
In many cases, the best thing you can do is discuss your concerns with your supervisor, company owner and/or HR department. This can help clear the air and allow you to better understand your situation.
But if that doesn’t yield results, it’s in your best interest to learn more about your legal rights and how to protect them.