It seems like a case of ‘doctor, heal thyself.’ A Florida office designed to prevent wrongdoing within the investment industry is itself accused of wrongful discharge, raising concerns about management practices within the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. A lawsuit filed by a former employee at the Boca Raton office accuses the organization of wrongful termination on the basis of gender, age and medical status.
In this case, a 52-year-old woman argues that she was dismissed from her job because of a variety of factors that were not related to performance. In addition to the unlawful discrimination because of her gender and age, the woman alleges that FINRA discriminated against her because she suffers from an anxiety disorder. She also argues that the unlawful discrimination was rampant throughout the organization, citing examples of supervisors who mocked older workers because of their age.
The suit is considered particularly contentious because it exposes FINRA, the Wall-Street watchdog regulatory agency, to criticism and scrutiny for lack of professionalism. Allegations of sanctioned drinking on the job have surfaced, for example. Employees allegedly participated in a champagne toast after the conclusion of a particular regulatory hearing; administrators have said that the toast itself could have affected the outcome of a particular regulatory decision.
Ultimately, the federal government is bound to follow the same laws that govern other employers. Federal workplaces are not exempt from regulations that prohibit unlawful discrimination on the basis of gender, age, ethnicity and other attributes. Victims who believe they have been wrongfully terminated by their employer may benefit from a consultation with a Florida employment attorney. These professionals may provide additional information so victims can understand their legal rights and options.
Source: Reuters, “New case alleges improprieties at Wall St. watchdog” Suzanne Barlyn, Feb. 24, 2014