Must an employer grant stock options or restricted stock to all employees?
No. Companies are not required to have broad-based, company-wide stock grants, though they cannot discriminate in deciding who is eligible. Employers have extraordinary flexibility in selecting who is eligible for stock options or other types of equity grant. Only with tax-qualified employee stock purchase plans (Section 423 ESPPs) must your company include all employees. For possible reasons why your company may not offer stock options or other equity grants, see a related FAQ.