Common Issues in The Cases We Handle for Wronged Employees (Brokers, Managers, Officers)
In addition, the Law Offices of Montgomery G. Griffin represents brokers, financial advisors, and others against other industry members, such as their employers. Issues giving rise to such representation include:
- Promissory Notes (Employee Forgivable Loans). Brokerage firms frequently entice brokers into employment using promissory notes—upfront loans that are to be forgiven over time. While this may feel like a gift at the time of recruitment, it quickly becomes a weapon when employment ends, with firms frequently suing their former brokers for the unforgiven balance of a promissory note, plus additional damages. There are many things a knowledgeable and skillful attorney can do to assist a broker facing such a situation, including assertion of meritorious defenses to enforcement of the promissory note and, often most potently, counterclaims against the brokerage firm.
- Wrongful Termination. Misconduct by Wall Street is not limited to how it handles customers; Wall Street sometimes mistreats its own members, casting them aside opportunistically. Sometimes after such terminations, firms threaten to enforce “non-compete” provisions against the terminated employee even when the firm knows such provisions are void as a matter of public policy in certain states. Such unfounded threats create more potential liability for the firm. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you may be able to pursue recovery against your former industry employer.
- Defamation. Employers and others sometimes make false statements about a broker or financial advisor, including through remarks on a broker’s Form U5, and those statements can have serious negative impacts on the broker or financial advisor’s career. Such false statements may be actionable as defamation.
- Compensation Disputes. Unscrupulous members of the industry are always looking for their next dollar, and sometimes they find it in a fellow member’s pocket. Failure to abide by compensation agreements—such as the failure to abide by salary agreements, pay promised incentive compensation, or the buy-sale agreement between brokers—is frequently actionable.
- Expungement. On occasion, customer complaints or employer remarks about a broker that appear on the broker’s record are wholly unjustified. In such circumstances, a broker may be able to obtain expungement of the remarks from his or her record.
- Whistleblowers. Whistleblower laws provide a potential reward in the form of a percentage of total penalties the SEC recovers as a result of original tips about potential misconduct. To make a tip anonymously, whistleblowers must be represented by an attorney. Additionally, whistleblowers frequently need legal representation to assist them in ensuring that they receive any reward due, dealing with retaliation risks, or other issues that might arise.