Yes. Many startup companies cannot give their employees the benefits and human-resource assistance that are provided by large employers. Some of these businesses assign all their employees to a professional employer organization (PEO), which performs payroll, human-resource, and employee-benefits functions. The PEO leases the workers back to the original employer, who pays the PEO an amount to cover all expenses plus a profit for the PEO. If the original employer retains the right to hire, supervise, and fire the workers, it will be able to grant stock options to the workers, just as if they were the company's employees.