I validated a "contract-to-hire" probation period, and now received my final contract for the permanent position, to sign it.
It is consistent with what the HR employee and I had agreed by mail before I joined, except for a figure in the contract, a number of stock options that is smaller by 25% from what the HR had initially told me.

The HR apologized arguing that the first number I was given was "a mistake", and that the corrected number corresponds to the value in the "company grid" for the service to which I am attached.
I asked to see this grid but my request was not answered.

I am wondering whether it is acceptable to demand that my contract be updated to include the number I was initially given (and for which I have an e-mail proof, whose CC includes higher management staff)?

Or shall I agree to the smaller number defined in the "company grid"?
After all, we humans all make mistakes, don't we...

  • Think this needs you to get some sort of legal advice on this Mar 3, 2017 at 14:03
  • 1
    @AndrewBerry Nah, he hasn't signed the contract yet so a lawyer can't do anything yet. This is merely part of negotiations. The HR simply made a counter proposal on the previously not signed agreement that they made.
    – Migz
    Mar 3, 2017 at 14:09
  • 3
    Depends, are you willing to walk away if the answer is no?
    – David K
    Mar 3, 2017 at 14:35
  • 1
    You need to fix things so that the HR employee cannot say "No" without personal risk. So you ask whose mistake the wrong number was, and ask her whether she is willing to change it, and if she says "No" then you say "Ok, so I will tell XXX, who wants me in this position, that so-and-so made a mistake and you are refusing to fix it unless he tells you to do it." The HR drone cannot usually make decisions about things like that.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 3, 2017 at 18:13
  • 1
    This "mistake" totally sounds like the foot in the door scam to me.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2017 at 1:45

4 Answers 4


They can change whatever they want, since you haven't signed the contract yet.

It's up to you whether you accept the change or not.

You can demand the previous number but they're certainly not obligated to change it unless it was part of a contract that both parties have already signed.

Make a decision whether you wish to stay or not based on this new number. There's nothing you can do but ask for the previously discussed number but if you don't get an answer or you get a no its simply a no.

To be a bit more precise: It's acceptable to ask for the previously decided number, but if its a no there's nothing more to be done. Take the offer or decline it.


It's something they can definitely do, but my response to you would be - This could be a red flag, indicative of other 'mistakes' down the road that could upset or cost you.

Stock options are part of your compensation. If those stock options are part of what made your compensation package satisfactory to you, I think you should evaluate whether you could get that same initial offer elsewhere, and if you can, kindly explain to the HR person that you were planning on accepting the offer with the initially agreed upon compensation plan and stock options, and that you would need to re-evaluate this package due to the mistake.

If they're not able to meet that number of stock options, could they give you more money?

More importantly, why is it that this mistake was made and never explained until you asked for it? Does this person frequently tell candidates that they'll receive X amount of compensation, only for them to see that it's actually a lower amount when they receive the papers to sign?


Do you wish to risk it?

Right now the HR is risking you accepting their offer by simply paying you less in stock options. This is simply a change from what you had previously agreed. If you're OK with this reduction in stock options then that's fine. If not, you can fight it with a counter proposal.

I remember reading somewhere that every proposal that asks a higher compensation is an indirect threat to the company that you might leave. No matter how nicely you were to ask a company for a larger compensation it's a threat. That's why companies offer you raises to reduce this threat.

You yourself should know best how valuable you are towards the company and whether you can afford to push back or not.


It is acceptable to demand they change the figure? Sure. They may change it, or they may tell you to take a hike. Are you ready to take a hike if that is the direction they go?

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