“How Much Bonus Am I Getting This Year?”

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As the end of the year nears, many salarymen and women are sharing the same curiosity. As many businesses often use the end of the year holidays as a period to offer bonus pay to employees, its recipients perceive the payment as something of a measuring stick to gauge their values at the workplace.

Bonus pay among Korean businesses in Southern California vary greatly depending on how each company has performed this year.

Many banks, which has done relatively well in the past year, plan to offer similar bonus pay to employees as last year.

Bank of Hope, which launched this fall to as the Korean-American financial institution with the most assets, is set to issue bonus payments to their employees, which would match every individual’s monthly pay.

Other local banks, such as Pacific City Bank, Open Bank, CBB Bank and US Metro Bank, are all offering similar bonus packages to their employees.

Hanmi Bank and Uniti Bank are the only two banks that have announced plans to issue bonus payments during the first half of next year. Since 2014, Hanmi Bank has been making bonus payments to employees depending on their performances.

Downtown L.A.’s clothing businesses, many of which have been hit hard by the economic struggles, are sticking by what they have done last year’s bonus pay.

“Our market has struggles this year,” said apparel manufacturer Ambiance president Sang-beom Noh. “But I know that our employees have worked hard, so the bonus for them will either be the same as last year or slightly more.”

Edgemine president Chang-keun Kang added, “Business has been slow, but I will still pay my employees the same amount of bonus pay to keep them motivated.”

However, various shipping and labeling companies are still suffering the aftermath of the difficult period at Hanjin Co., one of the world’s largest shipping lines, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, which forced them to reduce the amounts of bonus payments.

“The Hanjin scandal has hugely affected us,” said one owner of a trucking business. “But I obviously just can’t ignore the end of the year responsibilities, so I plan on paying my employees 50 percent of their monthly pay.”
A Customs Service employee added, “For smaller businesses, there is a family atmosphere. We know each other’s personal lives well and try to be flexible with how much bonus pay we provide for each of them to accommodate their needs. For employees who may need more money, we tend to issue higher bonus pay.”

At various supermarkets across Koreatown, many of which employee part-time workers, end of the year bonuses vary depending on each of the individual’s situation.
By Sung Cheol Jin