For years, employers and employees have fought over the meaning of a section of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) governing so-called "final compensation" and "earned bonuses." The IWPCA requires that employers pay employees who are fired or who quit "final compensation," including "earned bonuses," wages, commissions, the monetary equivalent of earned vacation days and holidays, and other compensation due pursuant to an employment contract or agreement. The IWPCA, however, does not define when a departed employee has "earned" a bonus, because the right to such compensation depends on what triggers the bonus according to the contract, agreement or bonus policy. … [Read more...] about Recent Illinois Employment Ruling: Only “Unequivocal Promises” Entitle Former Employees to “Earned Bonuses”
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Above the Law doubts that other law firms will beat the Cravath scale, but says it’s not impossible. The blog says firms would have been justified in trimming bonuses following a downturn in M&A work. Cravath’s decision to keep bonuses the same is “very good news indeed,” the blog concludes. … [Read more...] about Bonus season begins with Cravath announcement; which firms fall in line?
The importance of detailed drafting of employment documents – particularly those calling for commissions, bonuses or other types of incentive compensation – was highlighted recently by a plaintiff’s claim that, as a conditional hire who never worked a day at now-defunct Lehman Brothers, the Bank’s rescinding of her employment offer triggered its obligation to pay her a $350,000 annual performance bonus. In re Lehman Bros. Holdings, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6195 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 20, 2015). … [Read more...] about New York District Court Affirms: Business Not Obligated to Pay $350,000 Performance Bonus to Employee Who Never Worked a Day
In Kornegay vs. Aspen Asset Group, LLC, a jury found the employer and employee had an enforceable verbal agreement that, in addition to his salary, the employee would be paid a bonus of “20% of the profits” from real estate investment projects he “originated and implemented.” On appeal, the employer argued there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict because the parties had negotiations for the employee’s bonus but intended to reach an agreement on the bonus only if and when it was put in writing and signed by both parties, which never happened. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s award of bonus compensation based on the jury’s verdict, finding there was sufficient evidence that the employer and employee reached an enforceable verbal agreement on “definite and certain” terms of how the bonus would be calculated and when it would be earned and payable to support the jury’s decision. … [Read more...] about Court Decision Illustrates Importance of Having a Clear Written Agreement or Policy on Bonuses and Commissions
Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Proskauer Rose; and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have all announced in internal memos that they will follow the same $15,000 to $100,000 range as at least four other major law firms, reported Above the Law in a Monday post and two separate posts Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon. … [Read more...] about More firms, including Cravath, jump on BigLaw bonus bandwagon; Skadden says some will get $110K