The Law Offices of David Harrison provide legal representation for stockbrokers, financial advisors and financial professionals in an area where the custom and practice of industry standards parallels the application of the law.
The general rule is absent of a written employment agreement, an employee is deemed to an “at-will” employee and may be terminated at any time, for any reason even for no reason.
Unlike a court, arbitration is a forum of equity. Arbitrators have authority to decide cases on fairness and may not apply the law. FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator’s Guide quoting Domke on Aristotle, says “Equity is justice in that it goes beyond the written law. And it is equitable to prefer arbitration to the law court, for the arbitrator keeps equity in view, whereas the judge looks only to the law, and the reason why arbitrators were appointed was that equity might prevail.”
Since arbitrators are influenced to do what they believe is right, they are attentive to a broker’s arguments of retaliatory discharge, abusive discharge and constructive discharge.
Examples of wrongful termination:
- Discrimination – Broker was discharged because of age, race, religion, color, gender or national origin.
- Common Law Wrongful Termination – Firing was contrary to public policy. Such as refusing to commit an illegal act, exposing illegal activities, and exercising a legal right.
- Constructive Discharge – The firm makes working conditions unbearable that the broker is forced to resign. Examples are sexual harassment, demotion, restricting a broker from trading specific investment products, preventing a broker from soliciting customers and prohibiting a broker from trading specific types of accounts.