Firm launches class action over Uber stock option promises
December 19, 2016 – Firm partners Randy Erlewine and Nick Carlin today filed a class action in the federal district court in San Francisco on behalf of employees of car-sharing service Uber Technologies. The lawsuit alleges that Uber promised these employees – many highly sought-after software engineers and other technology workers – the most valuable type of stock options (commonly referred to as “Incentive Stock Options”) as part of their employment contracts, but after they joined the company, granted far less valuable options (commonly referred to as “Non-Qualified Stock Options”), and that Uber acted to prevent employees from exercising their options at the promised times. The lawsuit further alleges that Uber misrepresented the terms of the options and never had any intention of honoring its promises. This lawsuit comes on the heels of the firm’s victory against Uber in a parallel state court action on similar issues arising under California’s Private Attorney General Act for violations of the California Labor Code. Despite Uber's argument that its stock option compensation promises were unenforceable, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn sided with the firm's client and overruled Uber’s effort to defeat the claim against it based on those promises, allowing the case to move forward on the theory that those promises were false when made and therefore a violation of state statutory law. Further proceedings in that action are pending. For news coverage of the case, click here.