Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
PlayingLife
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by PlayingLife » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm

Summary
*Current employer sent an email during last year's fourth quarter stating annual bonus payouts "would be moved from March to end of April to align with the rest of the globe's payout timeline". Historically bonus has always been paid in Quarter 1 (March).
*In January current employer sent out bonus payout guidelines. The sheet states in red "must be employed at date of payout to receive bonus"
*I accepted a new position (handshake deal in December, signed offer letter in March) but unfortunately have to start three weeks before my current employer's payout due to some specific circumstances that could not be altered
*I have a very specialized role at current employer with responsibility for a large amount of money. For this reason, management has asked me to put together a very detailed Transition Package to keep things on track as much as possible. I am happy to do this and it will indeed be very beneficial to current employer
*Sales management has also asked me to consider staying an additional 1 week which is possible if necessary, to help break news to key clients and further help with a smooth transition
*Sales management (up to a high President level) has told me they will support me in getting my bonus, and that they think it's ridiculous that HR is threatening to withhold bonus. They said they will do everything they can to help me

I have my HR exit interview Monday and my last day in the office, as of now, is this coming Friday. HR has warned me I am not eligible for bonus but they did say I may want to talk to sales management about moving my departure date out. So I can see they are trying to help a little. However, I can't move the date all the way to the payout date, because I will have definitely started with new employer before then. Since I can't move my date out, I have a feeling HR will be firm in withholding my bonus during tomorrow's discussion. Here is my plan....

Plan A) Have a decent conversation about how I have overachieved sales objectives every year in the company and that current employer has received all their money according to goals and objectives in 2017. Talk about how I am committed to sharing the positive image of Current Employer throughout the industry as it is a rather small industry. Also mention I fully am completing Quarter 1 in 2018 and hope they will pay me based on the morally correct thing to do.

Plan B) Negotiate given the Transition Package that's been requested of me + the request to stay one additional week. Possibly offer evening consultation for a couple of extra weeks if it doesn't involve a written contract that could jeopardize status with new employer. The sales president recommended this as Plan B - they asked me to send a detailed overview via email with several high executives on copy, and then they would approach HR to help me. I believe them that they want me to receive my payout.

Plan C) Speak to a lawyer to see if a case can be put together. There are a few basics that I believe a lawyer could work with but I'm not positive. For example, the original letter sent in Q4 said the bonus payout would be changed to align with the rest of the globe. If you finish the 1st quarter in other regions, you receive all, or at least a large percentage, of your bonus. Technically I could of assumed this would have been the case when I started interviewing and accepted the new job as far back as December. Second, I'm wondering if the fact that I have finished Q1 in 2018 could further support my case.

What do you think given this information?

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:11 pm

Why can't you remain employed and just not work? Lots of people do that using vacation and other paid time off. Your employer can probably allow you to do that if they choose to do so even if you don't have paid time off available. Since you are in sales, might be easy. Could be as easy as offering to be on call to answer any questions for the new employee taking over your accounts.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7450
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:15 pm

Do you have vacation time?

Take vacation from the first day of your new job until payout date.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Dolphin1
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:52 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Dolphin1 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:22 pm

(sorry for the repeat of the above, was typing while it got posted. Leaving it here in case it helps anyway.)
Since it sounds like your management supports you getting the bonus, try this. If you have even 1 day of vacation time left, apply to use that vacation day on the day after bonuses are due, and also change your "ending date" to that day. For all days in between when you start the new job and that day, use a combo of any remaining vacation days and unpaid time off. If your management approves the vacation time/unpaid time off, I don't think HR can do anything to prevent you from getting the bonus since you will still be employed, just "on vacation."

PlayingLife
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by PlayingLife » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:31 pm

Dolphin1 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:22 pm
(sorry for the repeat of the above, was typing while it got posted. Leaving it here in case it helps anyway.)
Since it sounds like your management supports you getting the bonus, try this. If you have even 1 day of vacation time left, apply to use that vacation day on the day after bonuses are due, and also change your "ending date" to that day. For all days in between when you start the new job and that day, use a combo of any remaining vacation days and unpaid time off. If your management approves the vacation time/unpaid time off, I don't think HR can do anything to prevent you from getting the bonus since you will still be employed, just "on vacation."
Thank you! The only thing here is I did sign the offer saying I wouldn't be employed elsewhere while with the new employer. Technically if I took this approach there would be an overlap for two weeks. Worth the risk and innocent enough?

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:02 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:31 pm
. . . The only thing here is I did sign the offer saying I wouldn't be employed elsewhere while with the new employer. Technically if I took this approach there would be an overlap for two weeks. Worth the risk and innocent enough?
I wouldn't let that worry me as you would be officially and technically employed but not actually working. Whether you would be employed or not depends on how you define "employed" anyway. Your status would only partially meet the first of four definitions for the verb and not meet any of the other definitions at all:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/employed

Dolphin1
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:52 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Dolphin1 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:14 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:31 pm
Dolphin1 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:22 pm
(sorry for the repeat of the above, was typing while it got posted. Leaving it here in case it helps anyway.)
Since it sounds like your management supports you getting the bonus, try this. If you have even 1 day of vacation time left, apply to use that vacation day on the day after bonuses are due, and also change your "ending date" to that day. For all days in between when you start the new job and that day, use a combo of any remaining vacation days and unpaid time off. If your management approves the vacation time/unpaid time off, I don't think HR can do anything to prevent you from getting the bonus since you will still be employed, just "on vacation."
Thank you! The only thing here is I did sign the offer saying I wouldn't be employed elsewhere while with the new employer. Technically if I took this approach there would be an overlap for two weeks. Worth the risk and innocent enough?
I would just tell the new employer to avoid any issues. They've already put a bunch of effort into hiring you and I can't imagine this being an issue, but it's best to be upfront and honest with them.

delamer
Posts: 5493
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by delamer » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:26 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:31 pm
Dolphin1 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:22 pm
(sorry for the repeat of the above, was typing while it got posted. Leaving it here in case it helps anyway.)
Since it sounds like your management supports you getting the bonus, try this. If you have even 1 day of vacation time left, apply to use that vacation day on the day after bonuses are due, and also change your "ending date" to that day. For all days in between when you start the new job and that day, use a combo of any remaining vacation days and unpaid time off. If your management approves the vacation time/unpaid time off, I don't think HR can do anything to prevent you from getting the bonus since you will still be employed, just "on vacation."
Thank you! The only thing here is I did sign the offer saying I wouldn't be employed elsewhere while with the new employer. Technically if I took this approach there would be an overlap for two weeks. Worth the risk and innocent enough?
I don’t see why your new employer would care. This isn’t you actually doing work for another employer, which I am sure was the point of the agreement.

User avatar
tfb
Posts: 7889
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by tfb » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:32 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm
I accepted a new position (handshake deal in December, signed offer letter in March) but unfortunately have to start three weeks before my current employer's payout due to some specific circumstances that could not be altered.
If your new employer wanted you to start sooner, which will cause you to lose the bonus, your new employer should compensate you with a signing bonus. If you wanted to start sooner because it benefits you even if you lose the bonus, then you already weighed the gains against the loss.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

Bfwolf
Posts: 1773
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Bfwolf » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:44 pm

I feel like your strategy of being on vacation is innocent enough that you don't even need to mention to new employer, as long as you really don't do any work for the old employer.

I think this strategy is most likely to be accepted by HR if you actually have the vacations days to bridge the gap rather than relying on some sort of unpaid leave. Do you have the vacation days?

Your real final point of leverage, as you already know, is the working an extra week thing. Hopefully it won't come to that, but if they refuse to pay you the bonus, you should absolutely refuse to work the extra week. That may just possibly get some movement for you....the sales team is genuinely sympathetic to your plight, but keeping you in the office for some important transition activities may be the carrot they need to really go to bat for you with HR.

techrover
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by techrover » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:25 am

Been in similar situation...understand that everything is negotiable especially when you have something of value to offer. HR is for guidance, the manager is in charge and can make things happen.

In this case, your lever is the key accounts hand-off and I think that is why your management is supportive. Use it to get what you want.
You might want to look into your new employer agreement to see if they prohibit dual-employment otherwise you may end up in legal issue there.
If the new employer does not prohibit, then plan to do two jobs for couple weeks - talk to your current employer that you will complete the hand-off by month-end working remotely or part-time. If the new employer prohibits dual employment, your only chance is to hard bargain the hand-off for bonus(if not full, a portion of).

PlayingLife
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by PlayingLife » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:29 am

techrover wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:25 am
Been in similar situation...understand that everything is negotiable especially when you have something of value to offer. HR is for guidance, the manager is in charge and can make things happen.

In this case, your lever is the key accounts hand-off and I think that is why your management is supportive. Use it to get what you want.
You might want to look into your new employer agreement to see if they prohibit dual-employment otherwise you may end up in legal issue there.
If the new employer does not prohibit, then plan to do two jobs for couple weeks - talk to your current employer that you will complete the hand-off by month-end working remotely or part-time. If the new employer prohibits dual employment, your only chance is to hard bargain the hand-off for bonus(if not full, a portion of).
Unfortunately there is mentioning of "no dual-employment in related industry" line in the offer letter. While new employer will almost certainly not know of a small overlap (I wouldn't be expected to work for current employer if HR approves, I would just be on the books unpaid for a couple of weeks), it is still a risk technically.

JoeRetire
Posts: 1374
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by JoeRetire » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:10 am

PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm
The sheet states in red "must be employed at date of payout to receive bonus"

management has asked me to put together a very detailed Transition Package to keep things on track as much as possible.

I have my HR exit interview Monday and my last day in the office, as of now, is this coming Friday.

What do you think given this information?
I think you are unlikely to get the bonus.

It's hard to see how great of a "detailed transition package" you can create in a week, and how much added value a week's worth of "package" can provide to the company. Still, go into HR and see what they would be willing to give you, and hope for the best.

That said, my company's written policy also stated that you "must be employed at the date of payout". My company's fiscal year ended at the end of June and the payouts traditionally happened in August/September. I was very willing to forgo my bonus when I retired at the end of the fiscal year. But I was pleasantly surprised to receive my full bonus in September. Maybe you'll get lucky too.

cherijoh
Posts: 4860
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by cherijoh » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am

PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm
Summary
*Current employer sent an email during last year's fourth quarter stating annual bonus payouts "would be moved from March to end of April to align with the rest of the globe's payout timeline". Historically bonus has always been paid in Quarter 1 (March).
*In January current employer sent out bonus payout guidelines. The sheet states in red "must be employed at date of payout to receive bonus"
*I accepted a new position (handshake deal in December, signed offer letter in March) but unfortunately have to start three weeks before my current employer's payout due to some specific circumstances that could not be altered

What do you think given this information?
It seems that you knew you would not be eligible for the bonus when you officially accepted the new offer of employment. But now you are having second thoughts.

Your new employment contract spells out in black and white that you are not permitted to work for anyone else in the industry while employed there. You may think that staying on with your old employer to get the bonus is an "innocent" reason to violate your new contract, but are you sure the new employer would do so? Have you considered that the old employer may still consider you employed and contact you during the overlap period?

Are you willing to risk getting off on the wrong foot with your new employer or even risk getting canned (for violating your contract) in order to get the bonus from your old employer?

ryman554
Posts: 1063
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by ryman554 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:16 am

cherijoh wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am
PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm
Summary
*Current employer sent an email during last year's fourth quarter stating annual bonus payouts "would be moved from March to end of April to align with the rest of the globe's payout timeline". Historically bonus has always been paid in Quarter 1 (March).
*In January current employer sent out bonus payout guidelines. The sheet states in red "must be employed at date of payout to receive bonus"
*I accepted a new position (handshake deal in December, signed offer letter in March) but unfortunately have to start three weeks before my current employer's payout due to some specific circumstances that could not be altered

What do you think given this information?
It seems that you knew you would not be eligible for the bonus when you officially accepted the new offer of employment. But now you are having second thoughts.

Your new employment contract spells out in black and white that you are not permitted to work for anyone else in the industry while employed there. You may think that staying on with your old employer to get the bonus is an "innocent" reason to violate your new contract, but are you sure the new employer would do so? Have you considered that the old employer may still consider you employed and contact you during the overlap period?

Are you willing to risk getting off on the wrong foot with your new employer or even risk getting canned (for violating your contract) in order to get the bonus from your old employer?
+1.

Having ties to two companies who may or may not be competitors is something the new company may not look kindly on. So unkindly as to recind your offer of employment and/or terminate you "when they find out".

So you absolutely positively have to ask about this if you want to go this way.. in a way that makes it 100% OK for them to say no. If there is any hint of "no" you have to recind your request on the spot and still damage may be done.

Short answer, do not attempt to overlap employment.

Your only answer is to do one of three things:
1. Force HR to include a bonus payout as part of your "one week more" and get it in writing. Don't trust you bosses to try to pull for you. They have no incentive to do so, unless you're still going to be golfing buddies. They are teling you what you want to hear until you leave, then "problems" will come up and that will be it.
2. Negotiate your hiring package to include a "sign-on" bonus of the amount of the bonus (and other golden handcuffs) you are leaving on the table from your old company. Call it closing costs for the new company. Not uncommon, but they want you and it has to make financial sense for you. Of course, it's probably too late for that since you have a signed agreement.
3. Push back your start date because you want to "ensure the best transition possible" from your old company. At least this makes you look professional. Your new company should be OK with this if they are a company you would want to work for -- you are demonstrating loyalty and professionalism to your soon-to-be-ex-workers, and this means you will give it to them when it's time for you to move on from your new company. A 1-time delay isn't likely the end of the world. More than once would be.

PlayingLife
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by PlayingLife » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am

ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:16 am
cherijoh wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am
PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm
Summary
*Current employer sent an email during last year's fourth quarter stating annual bonus payouts "would be moved from March to end of April to align with the rest of the globe's payout timeline". Historically bonus has always been paid in Quarter 1 (March).
*In January current employer sent out bonus payout guidelines. The sheet states in red "must be employed at date of payout to receive bonus"
*I accepted a new position (handshake deal in December, signed offer letter in March) but unfortunately have to start three weeks before my current employer's payout due to some specific circumstances that could not be altered

What do you think given this information?
It seems that you knew you would not be eligible for the bonus when you officially accepted the new offer of employment. But now you are having second thoughts.

Your new employment contract spells out in black and white that you are not permitted to work for anyone else in the industry while employed there. You may think that staying on with your old employer to get the bonus is an "innocent" reason to violate your new contract, but are you sure the new employer would do so? Have you considered that the old employer may still consider you employed and contact you during the overlap period?

Are you willing to risk getting off on the wrong foot with your new employer or even risk getting canned (for violating your contract) in order to get the bonus from your old employer?
+1.

Having ties to two companies who may or may not be competitors is something the new company may not look kindly on. So unkindly as to recind your offer of employment and/or terminate you "when they find out".

So you absolutely positively have to ask about this if you want to go this way.. in a way that makes it 100% OK for them to say no. If there is any hint of "no" you have to recind your request on the spot and still damage may be done.

Short answer, do not attempt to overlap employment.

Your only answer is to do one of three things:
1. Force HR to include a bonus payout as part of your "one week more" and get it in writing. Don't trust you bosses to try to pull for you. They have no incentive to do so, unless you're still going to be golfing buddies. They are telling you what you want to hear until you leave, then "problems" will come up and that will be it.
2. Negotiate your hiring package to include a "sign-on" bonus of the amount of the bonus (and other golden handcuffs) you are leaving on the table from your old company. Call it closing costs for the new company. Not uncommon, but they want you and it has to make financial sense for you. Of course, it's probably too late for that since you have a signed agreement.
3. Push back your start date because you want to "ensure the best transition possible" from your old company. At least this makes you look professional. Your new company should be OK with this if they are a company you would want to work for -- you are demonstrating loyalty and professionalism to your soon-to-be-ex-workers, and this means you will give it to them when it's time for you to move on from your new company. A 1-time delay isn't likely the end of the world. More than once would be.
I'm in agreement, I will not attempt to overlap employment as I do not want to break any agreements / expectations. I do have a sign on but I will still take a hit. If I do get my bonus it will be a pleasant surprise to me - it's not expected and it's not something I am counting on. I was never attempting to double dip either - negotiations with new employer closed a couple of months ago but there were delays...I never thought the dates would come so close to one another. As stated above, due to circumstances I cannot change my start date.

In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!

Bfwolf
Posts: 1773
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:46 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am
ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:16 am
cherijoh wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am
PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm
Summary
*Current employer sent an email during last year's fourth quarter stating annual bonus payouts "would be moved from March to end of April to align with the rest of the globe's payout timeline". Historically bonus has always been paid in Quarter 1 (March).
*In January current employer sent out bonus payout guidelines. The sheet states in red "must be employed at date of payout to receive bonus"
*I accepted a new position (handshake deal in December, signed offer letter in March) but unfortunately have to start three weeks before my current employer's payout due to some specific circumstances that could not be altered

What do you think given this information?
It seems that you knew you would not be eligible for the bonus when you officially accepted the new offer of employment. But now you are having second thoughts.

Your new employment contract spells out in black and white that you are not permitted to work for anyone else in the industry while employed there. You may think that staying on with your old employer to get the bonus is an "innocent" reason to violate your new contract, but are you sure the new employer would do so? Have you considered that the old employer may still consider you employed and contact you during the overlap period?

Are you willing to risk getting off on the wrong foot with your new employer or even risk getting canned (for violating your contract) in order to get the bonus from your old employer?
+1.

Having ties to two companies who may or may not be competitors is something the new company may not look kindly on. So unkindly as to recind your offer of employment and/or terminate you "when they find out".

So you absolutely positively have to ask about this if you want to go this way.. in a way that makes it 100% OK for them to say no. If there is any hint of "no" you have to recind your request on the spot and still damage may be done.

Short answer, do not attempt to overlap employment.

Your only answer is to do one of three things:
1. Force HR to include a bonus payout as part of your "one week more" and get it in writing. Don't trust you bosses to try to pull for you. They have no incentive to do so, unless you're still going to be golfing buddies. They are telling you what you want to hear until you leave, then "problems" will come up and that will be it.
2. Negotiate your hiring package to include a "sign-on" bonus of the amount of the bonus (and other golden handcuffs) you are leaving on the table from your old company. Call it closing costs for the new company. Not uncommon, but they want you and it has to make financial sense for you. Of course, it's probably too late for that since you have a signed agreement.
3. Push back your start date because you want to "ensure the best transition possible" from your old company. At least this makes you look professional. Your new company should be OK with this if they are a company you would want to work for -- you are demonstrating loyalty and professionalism to your soon-to-be-ex-workers, and this means you will give it to them when it's time for you to move on from your new company. A 1-time delay isn't likely the end of the world. More than once would be.
I'm in agreement, I will not attempt to overlap employment as I do not want to break any agreements / expectations. I do have a sign on but I will still take a hit. If I do get my bonus it will be a pleasant surprise to me - it's not expected and it's not something I am counting on. I was never attempting to double dip either - negotiations with new employer closed a couple of months ago but there were delays...I never thought the dates would come so close to one another. As stated above, due to circumstances I cannot change my start date.

In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
If you are really nervous about the overlapping employment thing, I would at least ask new employer (assuming current employer would be OK with the vacation/unpaid leave thing). There's a good chance that they will say "sure, no problem" if you make it clear you are not going to do any work for the old company. I can't imagine any real permanent harm would be done to your reputation at new company by asking.

ryman554
Posts: 1063
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by ryman554 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:53 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am
....I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
The company is certainly not morally obligated to do anything. Bonus programs are at will, and can change at any time. It's just unfortunate for you. Next time be forthcoming during salary negotiation that you are leaving xx$$ on the table and it has to make financial sense for you to move.

I'll point out that the results of all of your personal time spent on work is directly responsible for your bonus but also your new position. All high achievers do this, and while not trying to minimize your contribution to your current company, isn't likely viewed as extraordinary or something special in this day and age. It's simply what you have to do to get ahead.

I sincerely hope the best for you. In ten years you probably won't even notice if your bonus was given or withheld!

ryman554
Posts: 1063
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by ryman554 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:56 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:46 pm
PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am
ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:16 am
cherijoh wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am
PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm
Summary
*Current employer sent an email during last year's fourth quarter stating annual bonus payouts "would be moved from March to end of April to align with the rest of the globe's payout timeline". Historically bonus has always been paid in Quarter 1 (March).
*In January current employer sent out bonus payout guidelines. The sheet states in red "must be employed at date of payout to receive bonus"
*I accepted a new position (handshake deal in December, signed offer letter in March) but unfortunately have to start three weeks before my current employer's payout due to some specific circumstances that could not be altered

What do you think given this information?
It seems that you knew you would not be eligible for the bonus when you officially accepted the new offer of employment. But now you are having second thoughts.

Your new employment contract spells out in black and white that you are not permitted to work for anyone else in the industry while employed there. You may think that staying on with your old employer to get the bonus is an "innocent" reason to violate your new contract, but are you sure the new employer would do so? Have you considered that the old employer may still consider you employed and contact you during the overlap period?

Are you willing to risk getting off on the wrong foot with your new employer or even risk getting canned (for violating your contract) in order to get the bonus from your old employer?
+1.

Having ties to two companies who may or may not be competitors is something the new company may not look kindly on. So unkindly as to recind your offer of employment and/or terminate you "when they find out".

So you absolutely positively have to ask about this if you want to go this way.. in a way that makes it 100% OK for them to say no. If there is any hint of "no" you have to recind your request on the spot and still damage may be done.

Short answer, do not attempt to overlap employment.

Your only answer is to do one of three things:
1. Force HR to include a bonus payout as part of your "one week more" and get it in writing. Don't trust you bosses to try to pull for you. They have no incentive to do so, unless you're still going to be golfing buddies. They are telling you what you want to hear until you leave, then "problems" will come up and that will be it.
2. Negotiate your hiring package to include a "sign-on" bonus of the amount of the bonus (and other golden handcuffs) you are leaving on the table from your old company. Call it closing costs for the new company. Not uncommon, but they want you and it has to make financial sense for you. Of course, it's probably too late for that since you have a signed agreement.
3. Push back your start date because you want to "ensure the best transition possible" from your old company. At least this makes you look professional. Your new company should be OK with this if they are a company you would want to work for -- you are demonstrating loyalty and professionalism to your soon-to-be-ex-workers, and this means you will give it to them when it's time for you to move on from your new company. A 1-time delay isn't likely the end of the world. More than once would be.
I'm in agreement, I will not attempt to overlap employment as I do not want to break any agreements / expectations. I do have a sign on but I will still take a hit. If I do get my bonus it will be a pleasant surprise to me - it's not expected and it's not something I am counting on. I was never attempting to double dip either - negotiations with new employer closed a couple of months ago but there were delays...I never thought the dates would come so close to one another. As stated above, due to circumstances I cannot change my start date.

In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
If you are really nervous about the overlapping employment thing, I would at least ask new employer (assuming current employer would be OK with the vacation/unpaid leave thing). There's a good chance that they will say "sure, no problem" if you make it clear you are not going to do any work for the old company. I can't imagine any real permanent harm would be done to your reputation at new company by asking.

I can. He'll be labeled as either someone who cares about $$ and himself while giving potential liability to two companies. Or a potential difficult employee. Or, worse yet, an employee who does not know how to negotiate a contract.

There is literally no upside here.

Bfwolf
Posts: 1773
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:04 pm

ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:56 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:46 pm
PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am
ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:16 am
cherijoh wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am


It seems that you knew you would not be eligible for the bonus when you officially accepted the new offer of employment. But now you are having second thoughts.

Your new employment contract spells out in black and white that you are not permitted to work for anyone else in the industry while employed there. You may think that staying on with your old employer to get the bonus is an "innocent" reason to violate your new contract, but are you sure the new employer would do so? Have you considered that the old employer may still consider you employed and contact you during the overlap period?

Are you willing to risk getting off on the wrong foot with your new employer or even risk getting canned (for violating your contract) in order to get the bonus from your old employer?
+1.

Having ties to two companies who may or may not be competitors is something the new company may not look kindly on. So unkindly as to recind your offer of employment and/or terminate you "when they find out".

So you absolutely positively have to ask about this if you want to go this way.. in a way that makes it 100% OK for them to say no. If there is any hint of "no" you have to recind your request on the spot and still damage may be done.

Short answer, do not attempt to overlap employment.

Your only answer is to do one of three things:
1. Force HR to include a bonus payout as part of your "one week more" and get it in writing. Don't trust you bosses to try to pull for you. They have no incentive to do so, unless you're still going to be golfing buddies. They are telling you what you want to hear until you leave, then "problems" will come up and that will be it.
2. Negotiate your hiring package to include a "sign-on" bonus of the amount of the bonus (and other golden handcuffs) you are leaving on the table from your old company. Call it closing costs for the new company. Not uncommon, but they want you and it has to make financial sense for you. Of course, it's probably too late for that since you have a signed agreement.
3. Push back your start date because you want to "ensure the best transition possible" from your old company. At least this makes you look professional. Your new company should be OK with this if they are a company you would want to work for -- you are demonstrating loyalty and professionalism to your soon-to-be-ex-workers, and this means you will give it to them when it's time for you to move on from your new company. A 1-time delay isn't likely the end of the world. More than once would be.
I'm in agreement, I will not attempt to overlap employment as I do not want to break any agreements / expectations. I do have a sign on but I will still take a hit. If I do get my bonus it will be a pleasant surprise to me - it's not expected and it's not something I am counting on. I was never attempting to double dip either - negotiations with new employer closed a couple of months ago but there were delays...I never thought the dates would come so close to one another. As stated above, due to circumstances I cannot change my start date.

In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
If you are really nervous about the overlapping employment thing, I would at least ask new employer (assuming current employer would be OK with the vacation/unpaid leave thing). There's a good chance that they will say "sure, no problem" if you make it clear you are not going to do any work for the old company. I can't imagine any real permanent harm would be done to your reputation at new company by asking.

I can. He'll be labeled as either someone who cares about $$ and himself while giving potential liability to two companies. Or a potential difficult employee. Or, worse yet, an employee who does not know how to negotiate a contract.

There is literally no upside here.
There's definitely upside: getting the bonus.

I think it's easy to think of a million ways things will go wrong. But most people are reasonable and understanding. No boss or company I've ever worked for would've thought less of me when I joined for asking a simple question that would help me get my bonus from my last company. They can say no, sure. But everybody I've ever worked with understands the desire to get paid for work completed and wouldn't have penalized somebody for trying to figure out a way to make that work in a non-damaging way. Perhaps your mileage has varied.

ryman554
Posts: 1063
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by ryman554 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:42 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:04 pm
ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:56 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:46 pm
PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am
ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:16 am


+1.

Having ties to two companies who may or may not be competitors is something the new company may not look kindly on. So unkindly as to recind your offer of employment and/or terminate you "when they find out".

So you absolutely positively have to ask about this if you want to go this way.. in a way that makes it 100% OK for them to say no. If there is any hint of "no" you have to recind your request on the spot and still damage may be done.

Short answer, do not attempt to overlap employment.

Your only answer is to do one of three things:
1. Force HR to include a bonus payout as part of your "one week more" and get it in writing. Don't trust you bosses to try to pull for you. They have no incentive to do so, unless you're still going to be golfing buddies. They are telling you what you want to hear until you leave, then "problems" will come up and that will be it.
2. Negotiate your hiring package to include a "sign-on" bonus of the amount of the bonus (and other golden handcuffs) you are leaving on the table from your old company. Call it closing costs for the new company. Not uncommon, but they want you and it has to make financial sense for you. Of course, it's probably too late for that since you have a signed agreement.
3. Push back your start date because you want to "ensure the best transition possible" from your old company. At least this makes you look professional. Your new company should be OK with this if they are a company you would want to work for -- you are demonstrating loyalty and professionalism to your soon-to-be-ex-workers, and this means you will give it to them when it's time for you to move on from your new company. A 1-time delay isn't likely the end of the world. More than once would be.
I'm in agreement, I will not attempt to overlap employment as I do not want to break any agreements / expectations. I do have a sign on but I will still take a hit. If I do get my bonus it will be a pleasant surprise to me - it's not expected and it's not something I am counting on. I was never attempting to double dip either - negotiations with new employer closed a couple of months ago but there were delays...I never thought the dates would come so close to one another. As stated above, due to circumstances I cannot change my start date.

In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
If you are really nervous about the overlapping employment thing, I would at least ask new employer (assuming current employer would be OK with the vacation/unpaid leave thing). There's a good chance that they will say "sure, no problem" if you make it clear you are not going to do any work for the old company. I can't imagine any real permanent harm would be done to your reputation at new company by asking.

I can. He'll be labeled as either someone who cares about $$ and himself while giving potential liability to two companies. Or a potential difficult employee. Or, worse yet, an employee who does not know how to negotiate a contract.

There is literally no upside here.
There's definitely upside: getting the bonus.

I think it's easy to think of a million ways things will go wrong. But most people are reasonable and understanding. No boss or company I've ever worked for would've thought less of me when I joined for asking a simple question that would help me get my bonus from my last company. They can say no, sure. But everybody I've ever worked with understands the desire to get paid for work completed and wouldn't have penalized somebody for trying to figure out a way to make that work in a non-damaging way. Perhaps your mileage has varied.
Mine would have too, and did.... But at sign up bonus time or start date time.

If These two companies dont compete, at all, then I would tend to agree. If they do, put yourself in both companies shoes... Confidential material could (not saying would) go in either direction. The risk to either company is just too high. If I were a hiring manager and my employee asked if we could overlap employment, I would seriously begin to question the thought process. I'm sure I'm not the only one. And if an employee is leaving my company and asks to stay on while joining a competitor, no matter how much I like them, is going to get fired on the spot if they hide it.

So, sure, upside is OP gets bonus. downside is the OP is out of a job

Not sure I like that wager.

Bfwolf
Posts: 1773
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:26 pm

ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:42 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:04 pm
ryman554 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:56 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:46 pm
PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am


I'm in agreement, I will not attempt to overlap employment as I do not want to break any agreements / expectations. I do have a sign on but I will still take a hit. If I do get my bonus it will be a pleasant surprise to me - it's not expected and it's not something I am counting on. I was never attempting to double dip either - negotiations with new employer closed a couple of months ago but there were delays...I never thought the dates would come so close to one another. As stated above, due to circumstances I cannot change my start date.

In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
If you are really nervous about the overlapping employment thing, I would at least ask new employer (assuming current employer would be OK with the vacation/unpaid leave thing). There's a good chance that they will say "sure, no problem" if you make it clear you are not going to do any work for the old company. I can't imagine any real permanent harm would be done to your reputation at new company by asking.

I can. He'll be labeled as either someone who cares about $$ and himself while giving potential liability to two companies. Or a potential difficult employee. Or, worse yet, an employee who does not know how to negotiate a contract.

There is literally no upside here.
There's definitely upside: getting the bonus.

I think it's easy to think of a million ways things will go wrong. But most people are reasonable and understanding. No boss or company I've ever worked for would've thought less of me when I joined for asking a simple question that would help me get my bonus from my last company. They can say no, sure. But everybody I've ever worked with understands the desire to get paid for work completed and wouldn't have penalized somebody for trying to figure out a way to make that work in a non-damaging way. Perhaps your mileage has varied.
Mine would have too, and did.... But at sign up bonus time or start date time.

If These two companies dont compete, at all, then I would tend to agree. If they do, put yourself in both companies shoes... Confidential material could (not saying would) go in either direction. The risk to either company is just too high. If I were a hiring manager and my employee asked if we could overlap employment, I would seriously begin to question the thought process. I'm sure I'm not the only one. And if an employee is leaving my company and asks to stay on while joining a competitor, no matter how much I like them, is going to get fired on the spot if they hide it.

So, sure, upside is OP gets bonus. downside is the OP is out of a job

Not sure I like that wager.
If the odds were equal, I'd agree with you. But I believe the odds of the OP ending up out of the job from this are so infinitesimal as to be not even worth considering. He's obviously not going to go in and ask "would it be OK if I overlap employment?" He's going to explain the situation, say that he'd just be on vacation or unpaid leave at the other job for a couple of weeks, promise that he would not be in touch with the previous company about any work (could even sign a document to that effect). The hiring company might say no. Or they might say OK. But firing him? Can't see it.

EDIT: And as an add'l guarantee to the old company (and his new company), he could turn in his laptop and badge and all that before his employment officially ends.

techrover
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by techrover » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:54 am

Re. bonuses - companies always want to distribute to employees who are going to work for next year rather than give away to those who are not(i.e. leaving).

So the tactic of asking nicely and company agreeing is less likely to work - it has to be hard bargain for the additional work being asked to do. And be willing to not do the extra work if they don't give out bonus.

Keep us updated on the final outcome.

Darth Xanadu
Posts: 384
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:47 am
Location: Middle Earth

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Darth Xanadu » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:08 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:06 pm

I have my HR exit interview Monday and my last day in the office, as of now, is this coming Friday. HR has warned me I am not eligible for bonus but they did say I may want to talk to sales management about moving my departure date out. So I can see they are trying to help a little. However, I can't move the date all the way to the payout date, because I will have definitely started with new employer before then. Since I can't move my date out, I have a feeling HR will be firm in withholding my bonus during tomorrow's discussion. Here is my plan....
I didn't read all of the replies, but let me just say that if the higher ups wanted to pay you your bonus, there's no way HR would be in a position to stand in the way. Plenty of ways to get around the "must be employed" thing.

Edited to add: Although too late now, it may have been worth taking a shot with the new employer to negotiate a contingent payment of your expected bonus amount in the event current employer did not pay.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

PlayingLife
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by PlayingLife » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:22 am

Update on final outcome:

*I decided not to consider an overlap of employment
*HR told me the company not once has paid bonus if employees left in advance and they have upheld this rule for top performers who left just a week early
*With the 1 week I had between jobs, I used it to explain my case to the sales leadership team and asked if they cannot follow bonus protocol, if they could find another way to make things right. I explained I would complete a series of necessary tasks that definitely are critical for current employer to move things forward in the best manner. I also extended my leave by one week. They already know me enough to know I would not leave them hanging regardless, so really the extra week just helped them to state their case
*In exchange, current employer came back and offered me 50% of my bonus to stay the extra week
*I had already negotiated the other 50% with new employer

So now everything is right in the world. I'll receive 100% of my bonus, no more and no less. There will be no employer overlap, and I can definitely make up the missed time off in warmer weather. Thanks for all of your advice as it definitely was useful and will benefit me in future circumstances, cheers! :beer

JoeRetire
Posts: 1374
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:08 am

PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am
In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
It's hard to see how the company would be morally wrong to follow the written rules you and they knew beforehand.

I understand that you want the bonus, and perhaps even feel entitled to the bonus. But it's morally wrong to follow the written rules? That's harder to understand.

Sounds like you got 50% of your bonus in exchange for staying one extra week. That was nice of them.

wrongfunds
Posts: 1728
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:14 am

JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:08 am
PlayingLife wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:45 am
In short, I am seeking the bonus payout because I am a person of principle. I've overachieved, and I've made optional decisions to reduce personal time to overachieve on financial objectives for the company, as it maximizes profit for them. I hope they understand this as I believe it would be morally wrong to withhold my bonus. Anyway, I will use a combination of some of the recommendations listed below, and hope for the best. That's all I can do!
It's hard to see how the company would be morally wrong to follow the written rules you and they knew beforehand.

I understand that you want the bonus, and perhaps even feel entitled to the bonus. But it's morally wrong to follow the written rules? That's harder to understand.

Sounds like you got 50% of your bonus in exchange for staying one extra week. That was nice of them.
Just to follow your own reasoning, there was nothing "nice" about the company's behavior. It was just the business. They wanted OP's services and they paid the necessary cost to obtain it.

If the morality does not play in to it, then "being nice" is not a factor either.

Do you disagree?

JoeRetire
Posts: 1374
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:37 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:14 am
Just to follow your own reasoning, there was nothing "nice" about the company's behavior. It was just the business. They wanted OP's services and they paid the necessary cost to obtain it.

If the morality does not play in to it, then "being nice" is not a factor either.

Do you disagree?
I do disagree.
Neither of us know the company's motivation for providing 50% of a bonus they weren't obligated to provide.

bayview
Posts: 1526
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: WNC

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by bayview » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:34 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:22 am
Update on final outcome:

*I decided not to consider an overlap of employment
*HR told me the company not once has paid bonus if employees left in advance and they have upheld this rule for top performers who left just a week early
*With the 1 week I had between jobs, I used it to explain my case to the sales leadership team and asked if they cannot follow bonus protocol, if they could find another way to make things right. I explained I would complete a series of necessary tasks that definitely are critical for current employer to move things forward in the best manner. I also extended my leave by one week. They already know me enough to know I would not leave them hanging regardless, so really the extra week just helped them to state their case
*In exchange, current employer came back and offered me 50% of my bonus to stay the extra week
*I had already negotiated the other 50% with new employer

So now everything is right in the world. I'll receive 100% of my bonus, no more and no less. There will be no employer overlap, and I can definitely make up the missed time off in warmer weather. Thanks for all of your advice as it definitely was useful and will benefit me in future circumstances, cheers! :beer
Nice work! And very fair: you get the bonus you earned, and the two employers split the cost.

Best of luck in your new position.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

Bfwolf
Posts: 1773
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Help! Possible to receive my bonus?

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:16 pm

bayview wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:34 pm
PlayingLife wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:22 am
Update on final outcome:

*I decided not to consider an overlap of employment
*HR told me the company not once has paid bonus if employees left in advance and they have upheld this rule for top performers who left just a week early
*With the 1 week I had between jobs, I used it to explain my case to the sales leadership team and asked if they cannot follow bonus protocol, if they could find another way to make things right. I explained I would complete a series of necessary tasks that definitely are critical for current employer to move things forward in the best manner. I also extended my leave by one week. They already know me enough to know I would not leave them hanging regardless, so really the extra week just helped them to state their case
*In exchange, current employer came back and offered me 50% of my bonus to stay the extra week
*I had already negotiated the other 50% with new employer

So now everything is right in the world. I'll receive 100% of my bonus, no more and no less. There will be no employer overlap, and I can definitely make up the missed time off in warmer weather. Thanks for all of your advice as it definitely was useful and will benefit me in future circumstances, cheers! :beer
Nice work! And very fair: you get the bonus you earned, and the two employers split the cost.

Best of luck in your new position.
+1

Post Reply