If an employer promises stock options in an offer letter, are they obligated to follow through?

My former employer promised 25,000 shares in the company in their offer letter, which was signed by the owner of the business. But they never gave me any documentation or certificate of ownership to back that up. I eventually left the start-up, but now that they have gone public, they say it was my responsiblity to get my documentation. They have no obligation to give me the shares. Is that true? Can they offer shares in the offer letter then skip out on giving them?

3 answers  |  asked Dec 13, 2011 4:14 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (3)

John Otto
Like the other two lawyers who have given "answers", I believe there are too many unanswered variables in your question to give you an answer without looking at your documentation. The exact terms of the offer letter would be important, as well as the length of time between the offer letter, when you left the company and when you started trying to get your shares.

posted by John Otto  |  Dec 14, 2011 12:24 PM [EST]
Alejandro Caffarelli
If you are interested in scheduling an initial over the phone screening, please do not hesitate to contact me directly to arrange a date and time for a screening.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, I may be reached at (312) 540-1230.

posted by Alejandro Caffarelli  |  Dec 14, 2011 08:29 AM [EST]
Michael J. Merrick
Yes, you may have a claim against your former employer, but I would need to see the relevant documents and know all the facts. Feel free to call my office if you would like to set up a consultation. (312) 269-0200. --Mike Merrick, Merrick Law Firm LLC

posted by Michael J. Merrick  |  Dec 13, 2011 5:07 PM [EST]

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