Ethics: Advisory Opinion No. 1993-19

Advisory Opinion No. 1993-19
Advisory Opinion No. 1993-19

Application Of Prohibition On Contingent Fees
To Year-End Bonuses Given To Lobbyist Employees

In response to queries raised by various lobbyists, Ethics Commission Staff Attorney Marianne D. Smith has asked how the Code of Ethics for Lobbyists’ prohibition against contingent fees applies to year-end bonuses given to salaried communicator lobbyists.

Connecticut General Statutes 1-97(b) states that no person “shall be employed as a lobbyist for compensation which is contingent upon the outcome of any administrative or legislative action.”  Thus, bonuses given to communicator lobbyists based on the outcome of their lobbying activities (e.g., because a particular bill is passed or “killed”), whether given by a corporate employer, a lobbying firm employer or a lobbying client, are prohibited.  If, however, a corporate employer or lobbying firm employer customarily gives its salaried employees a year-end bonus (such as a $100 gift certificate, or a standard bonus based on a percentage of each individual’s total yearly salary), then a lobbyist/employee may also receive the bonus.

By order of the Commission,

Christopher T. Donohue

Content Last Modified on 9/7/2005 7:59:47 AM