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Boss says my former colleague can't get her bonus for Feb because she left last Feb 29

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Arresto Menor
My colleague left our company 30 days after she filed her resignation as per company rules. She did not break any rule whatsoever. In our company, you'd get a referral fee/bonus when the new recruit stays for 6 months. Her recruit stayed and is still working with us and so my former colleague signed a document stating she'd get the bonus by February (her recruit had her 6th month in January). But as per her resignation letter, she'd stay only up to February 29th. When she got her last pay in March for the last cutoff for Feb, she only got her salary, but no referral bonus, no back pay, and the other bonus that she should get from a job she's done. Now she called our admin asking about the issue and then the admin told her that according to our boss, she should not get the bonuses because she already left the company, but all those bonuses were due last cutoff of Feb, a time she still gave her service. Can she ask for those bonuses? She followed the rules and did not break any. Thank you!

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Reclusion Perpetua
Based from your statements, your colleague is entitled to such bonuses since she was able to perform the tasks before she left the company.

However, it is important to note that the general rule (as to labor code provisions and decided cases by the Supreme court) when it comes to bonuses is that it is dependent upon the employer since bonuses are considered gratuity payments, meaning it is usually paid on the good will of the employer for thanking the employee for a job well done.

There are exceptions, of course, when a bonus can be demanded by an employee:

1. When the bonus is deemed to be part of the compensation that an employee receives (usually fixed yung amount dito).
2. When the giving of a bonus has been the usual habit of the employer for so many years already.
3. When the bonus is part of an additional compensation that the employer agreed to give without any condition such as success of business or great performance levels. Magiging part kasi nun ng salary ng employee yung amount.

Your colleague's situation may fall under the second exception, especially if the company handbook says that there will be a referral bonus for any employee that stays for at least 6 months that was referred previously by a current employee.

Review the company handbook and look for provisions there that has anything about bonuses and how can they be availed of by an employee. There must be procedural rules there that your colleague can avail of in case her bonus was not duly given. Use all the remedies available so that she can get her bonus that she rightfully worked hard for.

At any rate, document everything (put everything in writing with their names and signatures) as to what the administration and supervisors say and do so that you will have evidences regarding their actions.

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Arresto Menor
thank you for the reply po. What about the backpay? Will my colleague be able to ask for her backpay even if she only worked for 2 months this 2016? The company did not give her any.

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