Global Equity Services

US legislators and regulators are unleashing new compliance requirements for global equity programs at a dizzying pace and many companies are struggling to keep up. Global equity programs remain essential to compete for and retain top talent, but are also quite complex to structure and manage due to rapidly shifting laws and regulations around the

Special thanks to co-authors Thomas Asmar, Victor Flores, Denise Glagau, Christopher Guldberg, Jen Kirk, Maura Ann McBreen, Lindsay Minnis, Kela Shang, Aimee Soodan and Brian Wydajewski.

As many readers likely know, last fall California doubled-down on the state’s hostility to noncompete agreements. Assembly Bill 1076 codified the landmark 2008 Edward v. Arthur Andersen decision that invalidated all employment noncompetes, including narrowly tailored ones, unless they satisfy a statutory exception.
   
AB 1076 also added new Business & Professions Code §16600.1, requiring California employers to notify current (and certain former) employees that any noncompete agreement or clause to which they may be subject is void (unless it falls within one of the limited statutory exceptions).

Individualized written notice must be sent by February 14, 2024 or significant penalties may apply.Continue Reading Don’t Miss California’s Noncompete Notice Requirement (Deadline 2/14/24) |Review Equity Award Agreements & Other Employment-Related Contracts ASAP

In 2023, we helped US employers overcome a host of new challenges across the employment law landscape. Many companies started the year with difficult cost-cutting decisions and hybrid work challenges. More recently, employers faced challenges around intense political discourse boiling over in the workplace. We’ve worked hard to keep our clients ahead of the curve on these

In many cases, when a candidate is recruited, they offered a new hire grant of equity awards and (possibly) subsequent “refresh” grants. Depending on the company, this can be a significant component of the employee’s total compensation and may be the most important piece to get the candidate to accept the offer. 

So, naturally, companies tend to include information about the equity awards in the offer letter provided to the candidate, together with information about the employment terms (e.g., base pay, bonus eligibility, etc.). 

If the candidate is to be employed by an entity outside the United States that is different/separate from the company that will be granting the equity awards (typically the parent company), we strongly recommend changing this practice. In a nutshell, we would advise to delete any references to the equity awards from the offer letter (as well as from any employment agreement that may be provided later or at the same time) and to communicate information regarding the equity awards in a separate equity award side letter that is provided by the granting company. Continue Reading The Case for Not Mentioning Equity Awards in Offer Letters

Baker McKenzie’s annual Global Equity Academy is designed to provide stock administration, HR, legal, employment and tax professionals with a comprehensive training on the basics of global employee share plan offerings.

Our virtual series spans four 60-minute webinars, each followed by an optional 30-minute “study hall” for participants to ask additional questions of our presenters and discuss learnings

Given recent developments and trends in the United States relating to restricted covenants (especially non-competes), companies should take another look at any restrictive covenants included in equity award agreements.

To learn more about the possible approaches companies can take to deal with restrictive covenants for employees outside the United States, read our recent NASPP guest blog post.
Continue Reading Reevaluating Restrictive Covenants in Equity Award Agreements

Special thanks to co-author, Jeff Bauman.

It is common practice for US-based multinational companies to adopt executive severance plans to provide for additional benefits to be paid to executives in the event of certain specified termination events, including those in connection with the change of control of the parent. These benefits may consist of

The New York City Council is already considering an expansion to the City’s pay transparency law to require NYC employers to include a description of non-salary or non-wage compensation in job postings. Dramatically increasing the burden on employers, the proposed ordinance would require a description of “bonuses, benefits, stocks, bonds, options and equity or ownership, if any.”

Background

As discussed here, New York City’s pay transparency law (Local Law 32 and its amendment), went into effect on November 1, 2022, and requires NYC employers with four or more employees to disclose in job postings – including those for promotion or transfer opportunities – the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located within New York City. This range may extend from the lowest to the highest salary that the employer in good faith believes at the time of the posting it would pay for the advertised job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.

Update

On February 2, 2023, the Council introduced Int. No. 907, a local law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, broadening the information that must be disclosed in job postings.Continue Reading Proposed Expansion of NYC’s Pay Transparency Law Includes Bonuses, Equity Awards and Other “Non-Wage Compensation”

For a company to effectively expand its global footprint, it’s almost always necessary to engage workers on the ground. The legal risks and opportunities in structuring these relationships differ significantly around the world, and the complexity is further compounded by the intersection with other areas of law, including tax, corporate, intellectual property and employment, to

Special thanks to presenters Melissa Allchin, Matthew Gorman, Christopher Guldberg, Scott McMillen, Betsy Morgan, Michael Poland, Sandhya Sharma, Aimee Soodan, Brian Wydajewski.

In these recordings of our two-part webinar series, our presenters take a look back at 2020 and forecast what is likely to have the