Can I Get My Bonus After I Quit?
Deciding to resign, or quit, a job is usually a decision that is only made after careful contemplation and a weighing of all the factors involved. If you work for an employer that routinely gives bonuses to employees you may include issues related to your bonus in those factors. Specifically, you may be wondering “Can I get my bonus after I quit?” Despite the fact that this is a relatively common question posed by employees, there is not always a clearly defined answer. The Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, however, does provide some guidance on the issue.
Whether or not an employer is legally obligated to pay out a bonus after an employee quits, or is otherwise terminated, is a common enough concern that many employees choose to put off tendering their resignation until after receipt of the bonus. If you cannot wait that long, it may help to have some idea where you stand. Of course, consulting with an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney is the best way to determine exactly where you stand.
In the meantime, however, The Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, or WPCL, may be of help. The WPCL states that “whenever an employer separates an employee from the payroll, or whenever an employee quits or resigns his employment, the wages or compensation earned shall become due and payable not later than the next regular payday of his employer on which such wages would otherwise be due and payable. If requested by the employee, such payment shall be made by certified mail.”
Is a bonus consider wages though? Yes, under Pennsylvania law a bonus does fall within the definition of “wages.” That leaves the issue of whether or not the employee is actually due the bonus or not. The answer to that question is likely found within the contractual agreement between the employee and employer and/or within the employer’s policies. Most, but not all, employees that receive bonuses from an employer are working under an employment contract with the employer. If you have an employment contract, therefore, you need to look to the terms of the contract that relate to eligibility for a bonus. Some employers include a provision that an employee must continue working for a specified period of time after the bonus is earned in order to be eligible for the bonus. If that is your situation, and you fail to remain for the specified time period, your employer may be legally entitled to withhold the bonus.
In summary, Pennsylvania law requires an employer to way out all wages due to an employee on the next pay period after the employee quits. A bonus falls within the definition of “wages” and should, therefore, be paid to an employee after the employee quits as long as the employee meets the eligibility requirements for receipt of the bonus.
If you remain unsure where you stand with regard to your bonus, contact an experienced Conshohocken, Pennsylvania employment law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation before you take any action. Contact the employment law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your free consultation.