Chobani Offers Company Stock to Its Employees

Chobani, the yogurt manufacturer, recently told its 2,000 full-time employees at its plant in New Berlin, New York that they will each receive a share of company ownership up to 10% of the company’s value. Hamdi Ulukaya, the company’s owner, said he would be giving them shares when Chobani goes public or is sold.

Mr. Ulukaya said the goal is to pass along the wealth his workers have helped build since he formed the company in 2005. Chobani is considered to be worth several billion dollars. “Now they’ll be working to build the company even more and building their future at the same time,” he told The New York Times.

Each worker received a packet which containing information about how many Chobani shares they will receive. The number of shares received depends on the years of service; those who have been with the company since its inception will receive more shares. Two years ago, the company was valuated between $3 billion and $5 billion; this means that, at the lower end of the valuation, the employee payout would be $150,000. The longest-tenured employees, meanwhile, can see payouts at more than $1 million.

The shares are coming directly from Mr. Uluyaka and can be sold if the company goes public or is sold. If an employee leaves the company or decides to retire, they have the option to keep the shares or sell them back to the company.

It is important that, before entering into an agreement with a potential employer, you negotiate the best benefits and compensation you can receive. If you have concerns regarding employment law issues, contact an experienced New York employment law attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected. Call Steven Mitchell Sack at (917) 371-8000 or email him at sms@StevenSack.com.

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