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Former Goldman Sachs brokers awarded $7.6 million

Two brokers in California were awarded $7.6 million on Dec. 5 by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel. Unless they are able to appeal the ruling, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. must pay the award for damages to settle complaints of wrongful termination and other transgressions.

According to the two former Goldman Sachs employees, Goldman Sachs wrongfully terminated them after they had worked for the company for nine years. During their employment, the brokers claim that the compensation plan at Goldman Sachs changed. Rather than receiving all of their commissions, brokers were required to place a percentage of the commissions in restricted stock units that would eventually vest. However, the brokers were fired before their stock vested, and they were not allowed to collect the deferred commissions.

One of the brokers also argued that a branch manager at Goldman Sachs chastised and retaliated against him for going on military reserve duty in 2006. The lieutenant colonel with the Army Reserves was fired less than a year after his period of reserve duty had required him to spend time away from his office. Federal law requires employers to respect the duties of military service people.

A wrongful termination can result in a significant financial burden for the employee and their family. When an individual feels that they have been fired unjustly, an attorney may be able to help them to pursue a claim for compensation. Because the burden of proof for these kinds of claims can be high, enlisting the assistance of an attorney may help to improve a plaintiff's outcome.

Source: Reuters, "Goldman must pay two brokers $7.6 mln for wrongful termination -panel", Suzanne Barlyn, December 08, 2014

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