At will employment and bonus?
I’m an exec at a medium size company.
2020 proved to be a challenging year, but we still managed to achieve record sales and +20% higher year over year.
1 - if my employer decided one day just to terminate me without any cause after very good performance would this be legal?
2- if my employer terminated me after 2020 was complete would I still be entitled to my full bonus payout?
Both are good questions with very nuanced answers.
1)All states are at-will employment states (i.e. you can leave at any time, for no reason; employer can dismiss you at any time for any legal reason, or for no reason). That said, some states have some specific exceptions to the at-will labor law. So, where you reside matters in this question.
2) The answer to your second question depends upon your bonus program and any payout guidelines in place. Some employers make bonus payouts contingent upon reasons for termination. If there's an HR department, you should contact someone there for what is/isn't in writing regarding bonus payouts.
Hope this is helpful and wishing you well.
Joanne (Jo) Rencher