I have worked for my employer for 7 years and have stuck with the company transitions and tough times when everyone else has left. My boss has said to me many times I would be receiving stock grants calculated by how many years of employment and that I should expect to receive more than any other employee. The carrot has been dangled for years and finally, after struggling we were purchased a year ago. A huge part of showing the value to our startup was my tenure as a manager with the company and was often brought up to show the loyalty and commitment of the employees to prospective buyers.
It's been a year since we were purchased and we just received grant offers but the offer I received was only 2x that of another employee who has only been with the company for 2 years. We are both managers and equal on the org chart. Although I did not have anything in writing, we had many verbal conversations that my shares would be allocated by how many years I have stuck it out and I would be highly compensated for all of my sweat equity.
I do not feel like the offer reflects that promise and I am wondering how I would go about asking for more without seeming ungrateful. Things are really rough for the company still and we are not even able to make payroll and most of the staff myself included are 2 and 3 paychecks behind.
To complicate it further the company sent out a letter stating that employees would be receiving additional grants from another deal distributed on a pro rata basis with details to follow. This was 6 months ago and I have not heard anything further about it. This grant promise is in writing however. I have sacrificed a lot for this company and I feel like the carrot has been dangled to get me to have faith and the offer received is not as it was promised. How should I approach this?