Employee Not Entitled to Bonus Under Wage Act, Says Massachusetts Appeals Court
Massachusetts law protects employees who are not paid their full wages, including bonuses. An employer must pay triple damages if the employee is not paid for all the time worked and for bonuses the employee is entitled to. This penalty is established under the Wage Act, Chapter 149 of the Massachusetts General Laws.
The law applies to any situation in which an employee is not paid wages, including overtime, for work that he or she has performed.
But a Massachusetts employee recently found out that he was not entitled to bonuses after he was fired. Why? The employer had promised to pay the bonuses only if he was employed during the subsequent year. The employee, a securities analyst, was fired after he was censured by the New York Stock Exchange for misconduct. Because the employee did not meet the requirements for his bonus, the employer did not have to pay it to him. The case, decided by the Massachusetts Appeals Court, is Young v. Fidelity.
The lesson is that even though employees have many protections under the Wage Act, the pay must be pay that the employee is actually entitled to. This information is sometimes contained in an employment agreement, or in a policies and procedures manual.
If you believe you have been underpaid, our office may be able to help you review whether your rights have been violated.
Culik Law is a Massachusetts Law Firm. The posts on Culik Law’s blog are not intended as legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, CONTACT CULIK LAW for a Free Consultation.