1

The small startup company (~6 employees) I worked for was recently acquired by a larger, but still mid-sized company (~200 employees). As part of the acquisition deal, they offered us substantial 3-year retention bonuses on top of signing bonuses, etc. The stipulations of the retention bonus were fairly standard:

  • If I quit before the designated date, I get none of the bonus
  • If they fire me with no cause before the end date, I get a prorated portion of the bonus from the time we were acquired.
  • If I am fired with cause, I get nothing

As of last September (2016), the company started delaying our paychecks by a few days, then weeks, then up to a month. Some of us are 6 paychecks behind. It has put many of us in financial hardship. We live in Oregon, and have given them a "notice of underpayment" (ORS 652.120), which they did not comply with. At this point, many of us are preparing to quit and move on. I plan on filing a complaint with OBLI soon because of their non-compliance.

Do I have a legal leg to stand on to fight for the prorated retention bonus as if I was "fired with no cause", given how I am effectively being forced to quit?

3

If you could successfully prove constructive dismissal (you probably could) then you have been terminated and would be entitled to the pro-rata bonus.

Of course, if the company is not in a financial position to pay your wages, it probably can't pay the bonus either.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.