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Bakhtiari & Harrison represents registered representatives and registered investment advisors in employment related disputes with broker dealers and other financial institutions.

The firm is experienced in employees who have faced wrongful or unfair termination, are entangled in disputes over salary, incentive compensation, or other benefits, and have been victims of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or constructive termination due to a hostile work environment. Employment attorneys play a crucial role in addressing these complex issues, providing expert legal guidance to ensure that employees’ rights are protected and that they receive the compensation and treatment they are legally entitled to.

In the securities industry, where professionals often receive a significant portion of their income in the form of annual bonuses or incentive compensation, the termination of employment before the distribution of year-end bonuses can frequently lead to contentious disputes over owed compensation. Employment attorneys are skilled in navigating these disputes, helping clients to secure the compensation that was expected and often contractually agreed upon. They assess the terms of employment agreements and the circumstances surrounding termination to determine the validity of claims for unpaid bonuses and other forms of compensation.

Moreover, these attorneys assist in negotiations and, if necessary, litigation, to resolve compensation disputes effectively. They ensure that clients are not only compensated for lost income but also for any additional damages caused by unlawful employment practices such as discrimination or harassment. Their expertise extends to advising clients on the best strategies to handle termination and resignation scenarios to safeguard their professional and financial interests.

Employment attorneys are also adept at interpreting and applying laws that protect employees from discriminatory practices and unfair labor practices, ensuring compliance with both federal and state employment statutes. Their intervention is crucial for employees navigating the complexities of employment law, particularly in specialized industries like securities where the structure of compensation and the stakes of employment disputes can be uniquely complicated.

For any employee in the securities industry facing challenges related to termination, compensation disputes, or workplace rights violations, consulting with an experienced employment attorney is essential. These legal professionals provide the necessary support to address and resolve issues effectively, advocate on behalf of their clients, and ensure fair and legal treatment in the workplace.

Registered Representatives with substantial books of business are often recruited and paid up-front loans in the form of promissory notes to induce them to join a new firm. These notes are typically forgiven by the brokerage firm over a period of years. If a broker leaves or is terminated by the firm a dispute may arise over what portion of the broker’s promissory note is forgivable.

Were you induced to leave your old firm with promises that were never kept? Contrary to what the firms will tell you, false promises to induce you to quit one position for another may be actionable. Damages may include the value of your commissions and other benefits you gave up which can be projected for a number of years as well as the direct expenses resulting from your change in position.

These promises are often accompanied by a loan that is forgivable over time. If you leave before the balance has been paid, you can expect the firm to file an arbitration against you. You will then be transformed from prosecuting your claim as a victim, to defending a claim accusing you of wrongdoing. You must act promptly to protect yourself and your book of business.

Employees of broker dealers cannot be terminated for reasons prohibited by employment agreements, statutes or public policy. Even “at will” employees may have rights if they are members of a protected class, retaliated against, harassed or if their employer violates public policy or statutes designed to protect employees.

Most employment disputes in the securities industry are arbitrated before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Bakhtiari & Harrison has extensive experience resolving disputes in this forum around the country.