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Employment Arbitration over Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination

Monday, September, 10, 2012

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently settled a case of employment arbitration between Santander Securities and a former female employee.


From all records, it looks like the employee received some vindication, but not nearly as much in a monetary settlement as she hoped for.

The Suit against Santander


The former employee claimed that she was subject to sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and a hostile work environment. She also claimed that she was unjustly terminated from her job.


Among other things, she sought $4 million in compensatory, and $2 million in punitive, damages.

FINRA's Contract Arbitration Decision on Actions by Santander


The arbitration conducted by FINRA found that there was no reason for Santander to have let the woman go. The decision stated that the woman had not committed any act or violation of company policy strong enough to be punished via termination.


Furthermore, the employee was not warned of any violation, and therefore not given a chance to correct the supposed violations. It is Santander company policy to notify employees of any such violations.


Finally, the company was ruled in violation of Puerto Rico Act 80, which covers unjust termination.

What Did Legal Arbitration Gain for the Employee?


In the end, the former employee was awarded a sum of money—but not the $4 million she had hoped for.


Instead, she was awarded a little over 1% of the $4 million hoped for—which still comes out to over $46,000.


FINRA is primarily funded by member investment firms, and routinely conducts financial arbitration when there is a conflict between these firms and a client.


If you believe you are a victim of unjust termination and in need of arbitration service, you may find employment arbitration attorneys in your local area with our listing directory.