Salt Lake City, UT asked in Contracts and Workers' Compensation for Utah

Q: Does my employer have any right to clawback a 2019 bonus if I put in my 2-week notice on the same day as bonus payout?

I accepted a new job offer and it requires me to put in my 2-weeks notice to my current employer on the same day I get my 2019 performance bonus paid out. Does my current employer have any legal right to clawback my bonus if it has already cleared in my account?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
  • Spanish Fork, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: No. Bonuses, though voluntarily paid on top of other compensation by your employer, are still considered wages in the eyes of the IRS. Bonuses are paid for past performance, with the hope that you will continue to work at that level.

Once they have paid you, they can't take it back. This is definitely something to sue for, and if the county attorney's office wants to help, they could easily make a criminal case for theft.

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