Receive RSUs while on 'Leave without Pay' - valid H4 / awaiting EAD


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After completing my 5-years on L-1B, I transferred to H4 and have applied for EAD but it is still processing. Since currently I am on a valid H4 status, I cannot work, but my employer has put me on "Leave without Pay" to retain me on the payroll while we wait for the EAD. As per the company policy, my RSU vesting would not be suspended and I would continue to receive RSUs (settled in cash on vesting date) even if I am on "Leave without Pay".

Would this be legal? Our HR says this is legal. Any references to verify the legality of this would be highly appreciated.

Thank you.

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RSU are what the name suggest. They vest on specific dates with certain restrictions. It should not be an issue imo. However that leave without pay makes me nervous on H4. Is your HR an immigration attorney ? If not then you hire one and let them review your case details.

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Well, as far as I understand, just keeping me on the payroll, while I don't work and don't get paid, is legal. But if the RSUs vest, then it will be a form of compensation, which may be illegal. This is where I need a second opinion.

Why do you say vesting of RSUs is not an issue? Would it not be considered compensation if they vested and distributed in cash while I am on Leave without Pay? (These are cash-settled RSUs - when they vest they are distributed as cash in the brokerage account, not as stocks).

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