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Jury Denies Ex-Employee A Pro-Rata Share of Annual Bonus

Our client terminated a manager two months before the end of the company’s annual bonus period. He later sued in Georgia state court, claiming entitlement to 10/12s of the total bonus amount. All of the bonus plans given to the employee were silent about whether a bonus would be paid in the event of a mid-year termination of the manager. None of them stated that one of the eligibility criteria for payment of the bonus was completion of the entire annual bonus period. The manager claimed that he had earned a right to the bonus and asked the court to impose an implied pro rata provision in order to avoid a forfeiture of his allegedly earned compensation. After hearing all of the evidence, however, the jury found for the company and denied the manager the pro rata share of the bonus he claimed.


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