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I have a clause in my contract that reads as follows:

"If you voluntarily terminate your employment prior to 12 months following your hire date, your bonus will be due immediately"

If I give my two weeks notice 5 days before my first 12 months at the company are up, and my company fires me the next day, could they make a realistic claim that I had voluntarily terminated my contract before the year was over? I doubt they could make me pay the bonus since this seems non-voluntary, but would appreciate another perspective.

I am employed in California.

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    Technically you are in the clear: The date of termination is your last day of work, not the day of notice. However, it it's really just 5 days, it would be much safer to just sit it out. Being "right" doesn't mean that the company can't still try some funny business either out of incompetence or maliciousness. Going to court takes a lot of time and money – Hilmar May 26 at 14:14
  • Where are you employed? Contract law and labor law both vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. – phoog May 27 at 2:08
  • @phoog California – user3586940 May 27 at 17:29
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could they make a realistic claim that I had voluntarily terminated my contract before the year was over?

The employer's act would forfeit its entitlement to reimbursement of bonus. The clause clearly indicates that the triggering event is termination, not the anticipatory notification thereof.

Furthermore, the employer's act would be a breach of the [contract law] covenant of good faith and fair dealing. That would be in stark contrast with your compliance with, and/or kindness in, giving a two-week notice.

The employer's termination of your employment seems improper in equity insofar as it was aware of your notice and thus took advantage thereof.

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