Author Topic: Any employment attorneys?  (Read 1249 times)

MountainBeard

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Any employment attorneys?
« on: March 06, 2015, 12:26:19 PM »
My company is in the process of being acquired, with a signed contract already executed.  One of the ways that the final valuation will be decided is cash on hand at close, and a couple things have happened which don't seem right.
  • Performance option grants were cancelled for 2014, this was done in 2015 (after the fact).
  • Bonuses for the 2015 stub year up to close were cancelled this week.  (We're on a biannual bonus plan based on the calendar year.  The deal is supposed to close in May, and originally they were planning on the new company paying bonuses.  When they objected, our management said that it's too hard to account for these so there won't be a payout for the first four out of six months of the period, thereby holding onto more cash.)
I've searched through my employment agreement and haven't found a comp plans can change at will clause, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's one somewhere.  I know this is pretty general, but any suggestions whether this is something that it might be worth hiring an attorney for, or whether this is generally permissible?

In case it helps I'm based in CO, and the amount in question would be ~25k.

 

YTProphet

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Re: Any employment attorneys?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 12:34:03 PM »
Attorney here. I don't specialize in employment, but I can say definitively that 99% of the time, cash bonuses are not legally guaranteed. They're entirely discretionary. Unless you've got a contract that guarantees your bonus (in which case it's functionally not really a bonus), I doubt you've got any recourse. The company can do whatever the heck it wants.

I don't know enough to speak into anything relating to performance option grants (I assume you're talking about performance-based stock grants here), though I suspect that'd be a bit more regulated and would look into that further.

MountainBeard

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Re: Any employment attorneys?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 12:51:05 PM »
Thanks YTProphet.  Regarding the bonus, the way it was stated in my original offer letter, "you will be eligible to earn an annual cash bonus award for successful performance against goals."

I guess eligible is the key word as the goals haven't changed.

Indio

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Re: Any employment attorneys?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 05:04:57 PM »
Oftentimes attorney's will do a 1 hr or 30 min free consultation to see if you have a case. Why don't you try chatting with a few different ones to figure out your strategy? You can still ask HR for your contract info to figure how if you are missing any paperwork.