Articles Posted in Employment Law

shutterstock_82103137The Law offices of Gana LLP are pleased to announce that their client recently received a FINRA arbitration award of $400,000 in case where the former Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (Fidelity) brought claims against his former employer for common law negligence and failure to supervise.

The former broker’s claims revolved around allegations that Fidelity failed to follow and/or implement appropriate procedures to handle the transitioning of his insurance licenses to Fidelity upon his hire.  The broker claimed damages in the form of lost wages, lost wage opportunity, delayed career growth, and less attractive job prospects.

The attorneys at Gana LLP handle a variety of securities related disputes including employment and customer disputes.  Please call for a free consultation.

shutterstock_160350752It has been reported that, the arbitration forum operated by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRNA) has ordered Barclays PLC to pay Mayank Chamadia, a former swaps trader, approximately $9 million in back pay after he quit during a regulatory investigation. Chamadia joined Barclays in 2004. Thereafter, according to the allegations he was put on administrative leave in June 2013 because his group was part of an industrywide investigation into certain manipulations of interest-rate swaps.

However, Chamadia was not the focus of the regulatory investigation nor was he accused of wrongdoing. During this time Chamadia received his base salary while on administrative leave but he made most of his money through bonuses tied to his trading activities. Without being able to trade bonuses would not be paid and his chances of being hired at another firm would decrease. By October 2013, he resigned to join Balyasny Asset Management. Thereafter, Barclays withheld his deferred compensation. In 2014 Chamadia demanded to be paid bonuses that would have vested after his departure.

The panel awarded Chamadia $3.7 million in deferred compensation for 2010-2012 that had vested by March 2014, plus interest with the total award adding up to about $9 million.

In addition to a base salary, brokers and traders receive significant bonuses from contractual agreements with their employer. Indeed, many types of financial professionals in the industry including traders, hedge fund managers, financial analysts, and portfolio managers are compensated in this manner. In many instances bonuses make up the majority of their overall compensation.

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Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees employees who work more than forty hours per week are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime pay is defined as one-and-one-half times the rate of the employee’s regular pay rate. Violations of overtime labor laws include the failure to include non-discretionary bonuses in the overtime calculation, misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime, and the failure to pay employees for the time that the employee actually works over the forty hour workweek.  However there are exempt employees from this rule.

Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA details exemptions from overtime pay for employees who are outside sales employees, professionals, administrative and/or executive. To qualify for an exemption from the overtime requirements, the employee must generally pass two tests: the salary basis test and the duties test.

The salary test is generally satisfied if the employee is paid a fixed salary without deductions from the salary for quality or quantity of the work. The duties test is me by the actual work being done and is different for administrative, professional and outside salespersons.

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New York City has just given pregnant women additional protections by passing the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act, a new law that will insure that pregnant women across New York do not have to fear losing their job because they need additional accommodations to ensure the health of their unborn child.

Dina Bakst, co-president of A Better Balance, an advocacy group that pushes for family-friendly work policies, said that  she recently spoke to an emergency room doctor in New York who had treated a pregnant retail worker after she collapsed and fainted from serious dehydration. The pregnant retail worker was not allowed to drink water while standing for hours behind the cash register.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act means, for example that women like this retail worker will, in the future, have the law on her side and the ability to push back against unreasonable demands.

It means that pregnant women can now request a seating accommodations while working at the register, ask to be reassigned when required to lift heavy objects as part of the  job, or take some time to safely recover from childbirth without risking their job for doing so.

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