Ask a Business Lawyer. Get Business Law Questions Answered ASAP.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
Do you have proof or evidence of this verbal commitment? When were you supposed to receive the stock?
Do you have anything in writing referencing this commitment, such as emails, texts, even instant messages, anything that you can point to other than just the non-compete as evidence of this agreement?
That makes it tough to prove that it existed. Yes, you can use the other employees and ask them to be witnesses, testify, or agree to be deposed if the employer fails to pay. But ultimately any compensation must be in writing to prove that the promise was made. Here, since there is nothing in writing, the burden would be on you to prove that the terms existed, and what the terms were specifically. It is not impossible to prove, but it is not easy, so while you can pursue it, I would very strongly urge you to try to get something in writing, some admission from the employer, that this obligation is owed to you.
You may want to get that done as quickly as possible, and just in case it turns to litigation, so that you can find them again. If necessary you can then give this information to your attorney, and the attorney would seek to interview them for your case.