No Need to Translate Stock Option Agreements
In Friedman v. Partner Communications Company Ltd. the Labor Court for the District of Tel Aviv – Jaffa held that a company is not necessarily obligated to provide its employees in Israel with a Hebrew version of the employee stock option plan and agreement.
The plaintiff, a former employee of the defendant, filed this law suit when he was unable to utilize his stock options since they had expired per his option agreement with the defendant. He claimed that the defendant acted improperly by not fully informing him of his rights and by not providing him with a Hebrew version of the option plan and agreement only with an English version in contravention of the Securities Law.
The court denied the plaintiff’s claim holding that the defendant acted properly. The plaintiff signed a confirmation and approval of the option agreement and received a reminder about the expiration of his rights under his option agreement. Although the confirmation and reminder like the option agreement itself were in English, the court held that it was incumbent upon the plaintiff to verify that he understood the terms correctly and to pose any questions regarding the agreement and rights. Moreover, the plaintiff was provided with the name and phone number of whom to contact in case he had any questions or if something was unclear to him.
The court also held that the Securities Law states that while Securities Authority may instruct a company to translate stock option agreements for its employees into Hebrew, a company is not required to do so if no such instruction was issued.
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