October 13, 2011 Comments (0) Blog, Securities Fraud

Attorney for Financial Advisors with Employment Disputes

(Last Updated On: July 17, 2015)

Are you a financial advisor with an employment dispute with your former employer?  If so, The White Law Group may be able to help.

The White Law Group has experience with all types of securities employment disputes.  Typical types of securities employment disputes include, but are not limited to:

1. Wrongful termination – Although most financial advisor’s are at-will employees that can be terminated for any or no reason, if the stated reason for the termination given by the brokerage firm is inaccurate, this may raise a claim for wrongful termination.

2. Promissory note litigation – Most brokerage firms use Promissory Notes as a recruiting tool.  However, if an advisor leaves before the terms of the Note are fulfilled, brokerage firms often sue the advisor for collection of the outstanding balance owed on the Note.

3. Defamation – Defamation is any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation.  In the securities arbitration context, such defamation includes an inaccurate mark on an advisor’s U-4/U-5.

4. Retaliation /whistleblower claims – If a broker-dealer terminates an employee for reporting a compliance violation or some other unlawful or unethical activity (or stopping this employee from doing so), this can be grounds for a retaliation or whistleblower claim against the firm.

5. Solicitation / raiding claims – Such claims generally involve the recruitment of brokers from one firm to another and usually includes the firm losing the advisors to sue the acquiring firm.  Often times the advisors are caught in the middle and they may even need separate representation (apart from the attorneys hired by their new firm) to ensure that their interests are protected.

6. Tortuous interference with a business relationship – If a former employer is interfering with your ability to make a living or to work with a particular client, you may have a claim for tortuous interference with a business relationship.

7. Discrimination – Discrimination can include age discrimination, gender discrimination, and racial discrimination.  Discrimination based on age, gender, or race is prohibited by Federal Statute and is certainly actionable.  Such claims often include a separate charge made with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prior to bringing a FINRA arbitration claim.

Securities employment disputes are governed by the FINRA Code or Arbitration for Industry Disputes.

FINRA Rule 13200 states that except as otherwise provided in the Code, a dispute must be arbitrated under the Code if  the dispute arises out of the business activities of a member or an associated person and is between or among: Members (i.e. broker-dealers); Members and Associated Persons (i.e. financial advisors); or Associated Persons.

As such, if you are a financial advisor with an employment dispute involving your former employer, it is likely that the case will need to be arbitrated through FINRA’s Dispute Resolution.

One exception is if the matter involves discrimination claims, including sexual harassment.  FINRA Rule 13201 states that a claim alleging employment discrimination, including sexual harassment, in violation of a statute, is not required to be arbitrated under the Code.  Such a claim may be arbitrated only if the parties have agreed to arbitrate it, either before or after the dispute arose.

FINRA arbitrations usually take between 12-15 months from the date of filing and depositions are strongly discouraged, making the process generally faster and less expensive than litigation filed in Court.

Since securities employment disputes are usually handled through FINRA arbitration, it is important to hire an experienced FINRA securities employment attorney who is familiar with the nuances of FINRA arbitration (versus Court litigation).

The White Law Group is a national securities arbitration, securities regulation, and securities compliance law firm.  The firm has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida. The firm’s lawyers have extensive experience in securities employment disputes, including previous experience representing some of the world’s largest broker-dealers.

If you believe you have a question about a securities employment matter, please contact a securities employment lawyer with The White Law Group by contacting the firm’s Chicago office at 312-238-9650.

For more information on The White Law Group, please visit the firm’s website at http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

Related: Financial Advisor Promissory Note Litigation and Securities Regulation

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