Can my non-qualified stock options be taken away?

July 20, 2001

Subject:   NQSO question
Date:   Tue, 29 May 2001
From:   Joel

Hello Mike,

I have a question about NQSOs. Back in March, the company I worked for granted me a few shares of NQSOs as a method of compensation for underwater strike prices of my original ISOs. I have since been laid off from the company and none of my options have vested. In my severence letter, it stated that any unvested stock options would not be retained, but can they retract the NQSOs? Since those could be issued to a non-employee, it seems that they could still be completely valid even though I haven’t hit the vesting date yet. Can you help explain this to me?

— Joel


Date:   Mon 9 Jul 2001

Hello Joel,

I’m not sure why you are confused.

Different non-qualified stock options can have different terms. Not all of them have a vesting schedule, but yours did.

You didn’t fulfill the service requirements under your vesting schedule, so your options lapsed.

Read your option agreement carefully for any exceptions to the vesting requirements in the event of early termination.

Good luck!

Mike Gray

For more information about incentive stock options, request our free report, “Executive Tax and Financial Planning For Non-Qualified Stock Options”.

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