Author Topic: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?  (Read 4471 times)

jeromedawg

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Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« on: December 29, 2015, 01:22:29 PM »
Hey guys,

I just realized this late but it looks like we have until 1/8/16 to submit our goal completion for the 2015Q4 quarterly bonus payout. My last day working here is tomorrow though (12/30 - I couldn't negotiate a later start date than 12/31 with the new company). So I'm assuming I'll likely forfeit the bonus at this rate? Sucks since I did get a lot of stuff completed in the last quarter (mostly transitional work). I did manage to get the new company to add a signing bonus but it's not *huge* by any means - that would cover the bonus and ESPP I'd be losing out on presumably by leaving early here.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 01:25:29 PM »
I imagine that will be the case. Bonuses are generally paid only to employees who are on payroll at the time. They certainly could decide to be nice and pay your bonus anyway, but I'm not aware of any legal requirement or other motivation that would push them to do so.

jeromedawg

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 01:28:14 PM »
I imagine that will be the case. Bonuses are generally paid only to employees who are on payroll at the time. They certainly could decide to be nice and pay your bonus anyway, but I'm not aware of any legal requirement or other motivation that would push them to do so.

Yea, I 'subtly' asked my current manager/director if I should still fill out the goals sheet. She hasn't responded yet - if she doesn't I'll take that as a no. LOL Maybe i'll still fill it out anyway just for the heck of it.

Zamboni

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 01:32:11 PM »
Might as well go ahead and fill it out as a review of what you did this past quarter!

You probably won't be paid for it, though. Every place I've worked has had a policy that you had to be employed on the day they cut the bonus checks to get one, even if the checks were not cut until February for the previous year. Your company could be different, but you'd have to find the policy on it.

marty998

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 01:36:54 PM »
meh... you're getting 'compensated' for it by getting a signing on bonus at your new employer...

The whole point of a signing on bonus is to compensate you for things like this... after all, what is it exactly that you've done at your new workplace to earn the sign on bonus?

okits

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 01:40:06 PM »
I imagine they won't pay it simply because they know you're leaving.  If you resign before the bonus cheque hits your bank account I'd expect them to walk you out and terminate your employment that day, and just pay out two weeks' salary (or whatever is the legal requirement).  Bonuses are partially a retention tool, and you are leaving.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 02:21:30 PM »
Is there a policy on the subject?  Per policy, we are supposed to get our annual bonus (paid in early March) as long as we are employed on 1/1, but I wouldn't trust it, lest they wiggle out on some technicality also embedded in the obscenely long policy on the subject.

Bearded Man

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 02:27:41 PM »
At a company that took advantage of me and everyone else that worked on my team, I waited until my bonus was paid then walked out the door into a new job at the end of the day. I had it lined up previously and just waited for the bonus and didn't take time off between jobs, cashing out the vacation as well.

Had I given notice, they probably would have fired me so they could avoid paying the 10K bonus.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 02:34:48 PM »
Check your state law on this.  In some states, the bonus has to be paid of they don't have an explicit policy stating that you have to be employed to receive it.  This is usually limited to bonus that are calculable and not just discretionary ones.  There is a difference between "Happy Holidays, here is $2,000" and a compensation structure where you are bonused 1/3rd of anything you bring in over $300,000 as an example.

jeromedawg

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 02:39:55 PM »
Check your state law on this.  In some states, the bonus has to be paid of they don't have an explicit policy stating that you have to be employed to receive it.  This is usually limited to bonus that are calculable and not just discretionary ones.  There is a difference between "Happy Holidays, here is $2,000" and a compensation structure where you are bonused 1/3rd of anything you bring in over $300,000 as an example.

Thanks, I'm in California. It looks like I'm pretty much leaving it behind:

"A bonus is performance-based compensation to be paid to an employee in addition to the employee's
regular salary. (Duffy Brothers v. Bing & Bing (1939) 217 App.Div. 10, 215, N.Y.S. 755) In general, an
employee who voluntarily quits his or her employment before the payout date of the bonus is not entitled to
receive the bonus. (Lucian v. All State Trucking (1981) 116 Cal.App.3d 972) Bonuses constitute additional
salary, and thus, must be paid in accordance with Labor Code 201 and 202 when an employee is terminated
or voluntarily quits his or her employment."


Also, I found the company policy on it and it only seems to address bonus payouts for involuntary termination (and in this case they will pay out the pro-rated compensation). I couldn't find anyting in the policy mentioning anything about voluntary termination, which probably means they're just not going to pay it out.

EDIT: just stumbled across this - https://www.quora.com/What-does-California-labor-law-say-about-bonus-payments-and-resigning-before-the-end-of-the-quarter

The bonus, in my context, is one that includes goals and targets and isn't just some "merry Christmas here's $5000" type of bonus. The goals/targets are not fully quantifiable, like "I sold X laptops in 30 days" but are more like "goal 1: help transition the work to location B - weighted @ 30%" I wonder if this changes things. If it does, have if they don't pay me, it sounds like I could take them to court? But the bonus amount isn't super-high either (it's like $2500 before tax) - if I took them to court and hired an attorney, I'd probably end up spending more just to win.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 02:52:14 PM by jplee3 »

MrsPete

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Re: Leaving job - do I forfeit my quarterly bonus?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 08:17:40 PM »
I'm sure the answer to your question is company-specific. 

When I looked into the same question, I determined it'd be worthwhile for me to retire in January, even though I'll be ready financially a few months earlier.  The bonus will be enough to finance a great welcome-to-retirement trip.