Facing the prospect of paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars more in bonuses to certain sales employees than it initially contemplated, a firm client changed its objectives under a bonus program it maintained for sales employees mid-year due to unforeseen circumstances that resulted in major increased sales totals for several of its employees (i.e., raised the goals, which in turn lowered the employees’ opportunity for bonus compensation). One of the employees brought suit when he received a reduced bonus under the “new” system, alleging that he was entitled to the considerably larger bonus he would have received under the objectives originally communicated to him by the company. Partner Nathan Baker and Associate David Pryzbylski argued on behalf of their client that because the employee was at-will, the company was privileged to make changes to any of the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment, including his compensation under the bonus program. The court adopted the rationale set forth by Nathan and David and awarded the client summary judgment against the employee on all of his claims in February 2011.
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