To start off, I am moving at the end of the month several states away from AZ to OR. I do have another job offer in this other state pending one last interview when I end up getting there. My move schedule is set and stone and cannot be changed due to family reasons.

My current employer has already announced a fairly decent bonus to be paid out in the last paycheck of this month (The 21st, to be precise). According to company policy, to receive this bonus I must be still with the company in good standing at the time of payout.

If I give 2 week's notice on the 13th that I will be leaving the company on the 27th, then I'm not sure if it's expected that I will still get this bonus. My main problem is that I am rather relying on this bonus in order to meet the costs of the moving process.

Now I have been told many times not to burn bridges, so how do I handle this appropriately? Would giving 1 week's notice be appropriate, or should I just chance it instead?

  • 4
    Maybe I'm missing something but... why not just stay one additional week until you are guaranteed the bonus and start one week later? What is the problem in doing this?
    – enderland
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:13
  • I probably should have clarified that, but the problem is that I have to move by the 1st due to family reasons.
    – user17163
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:15
  • 1
    Can you work remotely for a week?
    – atk
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:32
  • 5
    I can think of no company that would pay that bonus if you give notice and they know about it.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:55
  • 1
    I can name multiple companies, big and small, that actually give an earned bonus if an employee leaves after the bonus was determined but before the bonus was actually awarded.
    – nadyne
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 1:04

3 Answers 3


I would NOT give notice until the bonus is in your bank account (and cleared). Even if you've been given a letter that states your bonus and the paydate.

I had a coworker miss out on a fairly sizable bonus because he put in his notice between being notified of it and it being deposited with direct deposit.

While this may not be the most professional if 2 weeks is required, if you want to guarantee the bonus I would suggest waiting until after it is in your bank account, then give a late notice stating your last day is the end of the month due to a pending move. Make it a professional resignation notice otherwise, and it should be reasonable.

Since you already have another job lined up, there is not really much they can do overall besides send you on your way.

  • When you say "cleared", I assume seeing the balance in my account? Or some other period of time?
    – user17163
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:59
  • 1
    The balance in your account is probably fine. If you're as paranoid as me, then the next day, after it doesn't say "Pending" anymore.
    – Miro
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 21:27
  • I hate to say it, but I agree. My last company did this to me. The company that would withhold a bonus may not give a good review anyway.
    – Ronnie W
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 18:18
  • It can take two weeks for a check to actually clear; there are scams based on this. Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 21:07

It sounds like you need to decide which is worth more to you: a decent recommendation from this company for future jobs, or the bonus.

If you give the 2 weeks notice that is standard, there is almost no chance that you will get the bonus. And, like Miro says, it needs to be at least deposited in the bank (unless you think they'll try pulling the check, which would be pretty low).

However, since you already have another job, and presumably will be able to use it for subsequent recommendations, you might consider burning this bridge the price you have to pay. It is possible that a one-week notice won't completey burn the bridge. Everyone will know you did it just to get the bonus, but if you were a stellar employee otherwise, it might balance out.

  • Very helpful. We recently got new management, so there's not much helpful or harmful that they could say about me.
    – user17163
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 21:17
  • 2
    Do you really think a company would say anything either way? Um no.
    – blankip
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 20:34

Most contracts will state that you only get a bonus if you are employed at a certain date. Many contracts will state that you only get a bonus if you are employed and haven't given notice. Read your contract.

What "at a certain date" means: A company may announce on March 20th that there is a bonus due on March 31st, and the bonus will be paid on April 30th, and March 31st would likely be the date when you must be employed, or employed without having given notice.

On the other hand, if you gave notice on April 2nd, an unscrupulous employer might try to avoid paying the bonus.

So: Check on which day you can quit or give notice without losing your legal rights to a bonus, but it's safer if the bonus is in your bank account.

On the other hand, assume your company pays an end-of-year bonus, due on Dec. 31st. But they actually pay that bonus on Dec. 23rd so their employees can use it for Christmas shopping. If you decide your last day is on the 27th then quite possibly you would have to pay it back.

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