Tag Archives: bonus

Louisiana Federal Court Rules Half-Time Method Applies to Calculation of Any Alleged Unpaid Overtime and Bonuses Paid Offset Any Potential Liability

Courts addressing FLSA misclassification claims brought by employees classified as salaried exempt workers must determine damages. In a new decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Jane Triche Milazzo ruled that successful Plaintiffs in one such misclassification case are only entitled to “half-time” damages. Further, the Court ruled … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms: Business Not Obligated to Pay $350,000 “Performance” Bonus to Prospective Employee Who Never Worked A Day

Last year, a Manhattan federal district judge reviewed a decision of a federal bankruptcy court and held that Lehman Brothers was not required to pay a $350,000 performance bonus referenced in the offer letter of a prospective employee who never provided services. In doing so, the Court observed that the Firm terminated the contractual relationship … Continue Reading

Commissioned Sales Employee Not Entitled To Commission Payment Under The Plain Language Of Incentive Compensation Plan

This blog has stressed (most recently here and here) the importance of carefully drafting incentive compensations plans to avoid unintentionally converting incentive compensation into earned “wages” protected under state law.   Another recent decision, this one from the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reinforces the employer benefits of careful drafting. Lawson v. Sun Microsystems, … Continue Reading

Manhattan Federal Court: Financial Firm Retained Discretion to Award or Not Award Bonus

As we recently noted in our discussion of Massachusetts law, incentive compensation has the potential to become “wages” protected by state labor law once it is “earned.” However, when an employer conveys to the employee that it retains discretion to award or not award incentive compensation in any specific amount, such potential incentive compensation (whether … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Federal Court: Discretionary Bonus Not “Earned” Commission Protected by Massachusetts Minimum Wage Act

An employee’s entitlement to incentive compensation continues to be a litigation issue. Recently, a Massachusetts federal district court held that an employer’s refusal to award an employee a discretionary bonus does not violate the Massachusetts Wage Act. Comley v. Media Planning Grp., No. 14-10032, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76383 (D. Mass. June 12, 2015). In … Continue Reading

District Court Affirms: Business Not Obligated to Pay $350,000 Performance Bonus to Employee Who Never Worked a Day

The importance of detailed drafting of employment documents – particularly those calling for commissions, bonuses or other types of incentive compensation – was highlighted recently by a plaintiff’s claim that, as a conditional hire who never worked a day at now-defunct Lehman Brothers, the Bank’s rescinding of her employment offer triggered its obligation to pay … Continue Reading

Illinois Court Rejects Attorney’s Claim For Alleged Unpaid Bonus

Similar to the wage-and-hour enforcement scheme of many other states including New York, in Illinois, the payment of incentive compensation is largely a matter of contract.  Entitlement to incentive compensation, in particular bonuses paid pursuant to a company policy taking into account many criteria, under the governing statute attaches when the terms of the contract … Continue Reading

New York’s Highest Court Addresses Liability for Bonuses

An unsettled fertile area of litigation in New York has been the circumstances under which various types of incentive compensation—such as bonuses—become “earned” as wages and thus entitled to the protections of the New York Labor Law, which provide greater remedies than common law claims for breach of contract.  In a recent decision, New York’s … Continue Reading

California Enacts Written Commission Plan Law

As discussed by our colleagues at the California Workplace Blog, California governor Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 1396, requiring all employers doing business in California to draft written contracts for any agreements with employees that involve commissions as a method of payment for services.  California joins New York in the vanguard of making … Continue Reading

Manhattan Appeals Court Rejects Senior Executive’s Claim for Alleged Unpaid Incentive Compensation

Pursuant to New York State Department of Labor guidance and New York case law, incentive compensation is not considered “wages” unless it is “earned.” See generally Truelove v. Northeast Capital & Advisory, Inc., 95 N.Y.2d 220, 225 (2000). Accordingly, disputes over an employee’s entitlement to incentive compensation in New York often turn on whether a particular bonus, … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Discretionary Bonus Not Subject to Wage Statute

As discussed here, Connecticut’s highest court has clarified that discretionary bonuses are not subject to that state’s wage claim statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-72, et seq.  See Ziotas v. The Reardon Law Firm, P.C., SC 18292 (Conn., June 8, 2010). Ziotas concerned a law firm associate employed pursuant to an at-will employment agreement which included a … Continue Reading
LexBlog