International Employment Law

Compensation, Bonus & Retirement Benefits

Employees, professionals, and partners worldwide are entitled to be paid what is promised to them in their offer letters, contracts, partnership agreements, bonus compensation plans, and other equity, pension, retirement, and benefit plans. Outten & Golden attorneys have advised clients successfully in these matters and have secured these entitlements globally. We have also litigated, arbitrated, negotiated, and mediated these types of compensation disputes in the U.S.

In many global businesses, employees receive bonuses based on their performance, the performance of their departments or divisions, and/or the overall performance of the company. While some employees’ bonuses are a small fraction of their total compensation, in other industries such as financial services, for example, bonuses represent the lion’s share of many employees’ total compensation. Both U.S. and multinational companies often use guaranteed bonuses as an incentive in hiring. An employee with a guaranteed bonus has a contractual right to that bonus, even if the employee is “at-will” and does not have an employment contract. Attorneys at our firm negotiate offer letters and employment agreements that contain guaranteed bonus language and draft language designed to ensure that our clients' rights to guaranteed bonuses are protected in the event of termination.

Expatriate employees and executives often receive equity compensation as part of their total compensation packages. Equity compensation is non-cash compensation that represents an ownership interest in the company. The two most common forms of equity compensation are stock options and restricted stock. Types of equity compensation vary among public and private companies and also vary internationally, however, depending on the country in which the company is situated and what local rules apply to equity plans. Our firm works with many international and local law firms to insure that employees and executives are protected in the countries in which they work, that clients properly understand the equity plan or share schemes given to them, and that they maintain full vesting rights and value.

Outten & Golden attorneys also review and negotiate various retirement-related exit packages or agreements that bridge an employee through retirement. Additionally, we review various retirement plans to help employees understand their rights and entitlements upon retirement.

Retirement benefits, including pensions and other benefits, may differ depending on the country in which the employee works or retires. Retirement plans may be set up by employers, insurance companies, the government, or other institutions such as employer associations or trade unions. Once employees decide to retire, they may be able to benefit from employer-provided retiree health insurance, full vesting of their deferred compensation, or a payout of their retirement savings account, or in the U.S., their 401(k).
 

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)