I have resigned from my position today after 21 months in my role. I do have some vested RSU that have a 2-year block (i.e. that can be exercised in November 2019). I have paid taxes on these RSUs. but I simply cannot exercise them until the block is lifted. Does a resignation triggers the block to be lifted, OR am I allowed to sell the RSUs in November, even though I will no longer be part of the company?


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    I'm not familiar with the type of block you are describing; in my experience, a vested RSU results in the immediate transfer of stock to your portfolio, not the ability to exercise an option. You should have received a document that explains precisely how everything is handled. My guess is that, having vested, the block is a contractual clause that is tied to your receipt of the stock, not your continued employment, so that you would be free to sell them in November. – chepner Jun 17 '19 at 19:27
  • Thank you for your response. Apologies for my lack of knowledge about semantic. – Roland Jun 17 '19 at 19:31
  • Thank you so much for your response. Apologies for my lack of knowledge about semantic. The initial block (upon hiring) of RSUs is usually a 1-year delay, but because the company is french, they extend this period to 2 years (I have no idea why). HR in their end of employment letter state 'any vested and exercisable stock options are to be exercised by you within 90 days of the termination date and in accordance with the terms of the company Stock Option Plan, Grant Agreement and Notice of Grant'. However my understanding is that RSUs are not covered by this statement? regards,, roland – Roland Jun 17 '19 at 19:45
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    You're unclear. RSUs are not options. Do you have RSUs or options ? – xyious Jun 18 '19 at 14:56
  • It's mid-November: have you been able to sell them? :) – chepner Nov 15 '19 at 16:55

The question isn't 100% clear so take this with a grain of salt.

If you paid taxes on it you own the asset, regardless of whether this is options or stocks.

If you own stocks now, you can sell them at any time after you resign.

If you own options now, you need to make sure that you're allowed to exercise them. If they have an expiration date that falls within the blocked time, you essentially have worthless options. I do question whether or not it would be legal for the company to give you (and make you pay taxes on) stock options that you can't exercise.

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  • If you paid taxes on it, you owned it at the time you paid taxes on it. Many RSUs are forfeited if you terminate your employment prior to some cutoff date. Then you don't own them anymore and have a capital loss. (Usually with this arrangement, the RSUs are still described as "unvested" if they're subject to forfeiture even though they're technically yours and you've paid taxes on them.) – David Schwartz Jun 19 '19 at 14:12
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    I paid taxes on my RSUs when they vested... I have unvested RSUs that I haven't paid taxes on (received them at the same time, vesting 25% per year) – xyious Jun 20 '19 at 2:07
  • RSUs can be done either way. They can be yours when granted but subject to forfeiture or they can become yours as they vest. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. Note that I was careful to say "if" and "many". It sounds like the OP's RSUs were structured so that they're his when granted (so he pays taxes on them then) but subject to forfeiture if he quits before they vest. Yours were the opposite way. (Which could make the taxes very high if the fair market value goes up significantly while they're vesting!) – David Schwartz Jun 20 '19 at 3:16
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    Yeah that's kinda the problem, it's hard to be sure what the OP really has (or had) without more information. – xyious Jun 20 '19 at 3:36
  • Thank you for your comments. I am guessing I’ll have to wait until November to see if I can cash in on it – Roland Jun 20 '19 at 6:52

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