lay-off employee to not give retention bonus

At the time of hiring, my employment had offered me a retention bonus that get paid out over two years on hiring anniversary dates. Retention agreement T&Cs indicates about it getting forfeited due to voluntary employment termination and employment termination for a cause. T&Cs doesn’t indicate anything about employment termination due to lay-off. I got paid for year 1 on 1st hiring anniversary.
My employer terminated my employment as part of lay-off and they are not paying me my retention bonus that is due on 2nd hiring anniversary. Is there a way to legally defend this?

2 answers  |  asked Sep 17, 2019 11:36 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Drew Lewis
The answer to this very much depends on your contract. If, as you suggest, the only language relevant to this is that you give up the right to your bonus if you voluntarily leave the company, then you may in fact have a claim for unpaid wages. This might also mean you have a claim for waiting-time penalties as well. But again, you need to have an employment attorney look at your contract. Also, here's a resource that might be helpful to you:

https://drewlewis.law/practice/wages/unpaid-bonuses/

posted by Drew Lewis  |  Apr 23, 2020 5:13 PM [EST]
Arkady Itkin
Hello. The answer to your question depends on the precise language of the employment agreement referring to retention bonus. You should have it reviewed by an experienced employment attorney to determine whether you have a potential legal claim for this unpaid retention bonus.

Thanks,

Arkady Itkin

posted by Arkady Itkin  |  Sep 18, 2019 11:11 AM [EST]

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