Employee stock options are a great perk, but they can be complicated. If you work for a salary and a cash bonus, you may not know much about stock options or restricted stock. But these days, it pays to know the basics. In the corporate world, equity and equity-based compensation are major parts of the playing field. And with start-ups, this can be a key reason to join. In many jobs, the biggest paydays are from equity, not from cash.