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Does my employer have to pay me my bonus if I have an offer letter stating what I am to be paid over a years employment?

Milford, CT |

I have been employed for one year with my employer. I have my original offer letter stating my hourly wage and my bonus amount, to be paid in three payments over a years period.I have had difficulty getting my bonus installments in a timely manner , whichl is why I will be giving notice. Doesn't he have to pay me the balance of my bonus? He still owes me half. Do I have recourse through the Dept of Labor?

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Filed under: Employment
Attorney answers 3


You might have a claim for your bonus payment depending on what the written documents provide. You should meet with an employment lawyer in the state where you are employed to discuss your options.

Answers to questions are meant to be general only, are not intended to be legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship. Answers to questions are based on NY law, and the laws of other states may create different rights and obligations.


That depends on whether the bonus was "discretionary." If the offer letter says something like, "you will get a bonus based on a certain formula," then you have a good claim to it. Connecticut courts generally won't make an employer pay out a bonus if it's discretionary, that is, if the letter just says that the employer may or may not give a bonus based on his or her discretion.

The timeliness issue is important too. A non-discretionary bonus is sometimes considered "wages," and in Connecticut, an employer has 8 days from when the wages were due to pay the employee or else the employer may have to pay double.

You can file a "statement of claim for wages" at the CT DOL- here's the link- That's a good place to start.


The only way for an attorney to evaluate this case is to review the documents you have referenced and learn the manner in which you were paid by your employer in the past. I'm local, so if you want to run the letter by me send me a message.

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