TLDR: I was employee at a startup that gave me equity and secretively clawed it back then fired me few months later. Is the law around "sale of company" established to be a full sale of company or can it be a partial sale (e.g. equity to VCs)? Can I effectively pursue legal action against the startup?
I've worked at the startup before they had major traction and had equity as part of the my compensation with a 4 year vesting period. After my equity has fully vested and before the company publicly announced a major round of VC fundraising (first round ever), the company asked me to sign a new agreement without any equity. I was sent the a new employment contract at 9am and was asked to sign it by 5pm during a busy work day. I didn't have enough time to carefully review its terms or seek advice of counsel. Few months later, the startup fired me, so I curiously reviewed my 2 employment and noticed that the equity clause was missing from the new agreement, thus sparking this question.
Under the old employment contract, the terms of the equity were that I had to be a full-time employee at the time of "sale of company". Does partial sale of company (e.g. equity) to VCs count as "sale of company" and thus trigger a bonus for me?
Please ask clarifying questions if you need more details before providing an answer. I greatly appreciate your advice.
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