Former McAfee employees sue over stock options

Seven former McAfee employees have sued the security giant after they were unable to cash in their stock options upon leaving the company.

The suit, filed Dec. 17 in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., accuses the firm of denying the defendants the right to exercise their stock options, according to published reports.

The suit claims the Santa Clara, Calif. firm is obliged to "honor requests to exercise vested stock options made within 90 days after an employee left or was terminated by McAfee."

But the company announced in July that it was suspending its stock options in light of a federal investigation into backdating practices. In addition, the company said it was unable to file its quarterly earnings report for the period ending June 30.

Since that announcement, the company has fired its president, and its chairman and CEO retired. Dale Fuller, a member of the McAfee Board of Directors, was named acting chairman and CEO, and Charles J. Robel was appointed non-executive chairman.

A McAfee spokesperson said Friday that the company does not comment on former employees or pending lawsuits.

Click here to email reporter Dan Kaplan.

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