Do we have to pay a bonus to someone who quit?

An employee who’s worked for me for 1.5 years has voluntarily quit, with his last day on 11/30. Am I obligated to give him a Christmas bonus? Thanks.

Posted  12-14-2011

Ann Kiernan replies:

The answer depends entirely on your company policy and past practice. If you have always required employees to still be on the job at bonus time, you can continue that practice. But, if in prior years you have paid a Christmas bonus to employees who left before the holiday, then you should pay this employee.


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About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.