Bonus Claims

There are various legal theories under which a bonus that has been denied to an employee by his or her employer may be recovered.  First, where an employee or executive is entitled to a bonus pursuant to a written agreement or formula, a claim may be made against the employer on the basis of a breach of contract claim or through wage and hour laws such as the New York Labor Law. In the financial industry, such claims may be pursued through the arbitration process administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Even where a bonus is nominally “discretionary,” it often is possible to pursue legal action in order to recover the withheld funds from an employer.  For example, such claims may be successful in situations where the bonus at issue represents a large percentage of an individual’s overall compensation and is not tied to the financial success of the firm, but is more dependent upon a formula.