“Is Eligible For”: An Example of a Buried-Actor Policy

A feature of my categories-of-contract-language framework is something I used to call “passive-type policies” but in the fourth edition of MSCD (forthcoming) call “buried-actor policies.”

In this 2016 post I wrote about is subject to as an example of a buried-actor policy. Here’s another: is eligible for.

Consider how it’s used in this sentence:

The Employee is eligible for a target bonus (a “Target Bonus”) equal to 50% of his Base Pay for threshold performance and additional amounts paid for exceptional performance as determined by the Compensation Committee.

It would be clearer to say instead The Company shall pay the Employee … if ….

The same goes for is not eligible for:

The Agent’s expenses are not eligible for reimbursement by Acme.

I’d revise that to read Acme is not required to reimburse the Agent’s expenses.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.