October 30, 2013
In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in November 2012 by former employee Claimant Morrison asserted that Respondent Edward Jones & Company, LP. had wrongfully terminated her employment because she had not disclosed on her Uniform Application For Securities Industry Registration Or Transfer ("Form U4") one unsatisfied lien and one unsatisfied judgment. Claimant Morrison, who represented herself pro se, asserted that Respondent Jones failed to provide accurate information to her when she asked for guidance and assistance with completing her Form U4. Moreover, Claimant argued that she had accurately and truthfully completed her U4 application based on the information she was aware of at the time. Claimant sought $19,500 in compensatory damages, $43,500 in punitive damages, costs, and expungement of the matter from her Central Registration Depository records. In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between Faye L. Morrison, Claimant, vs. Edward Jones & Company, LP, Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 12-04126, October 17, 2013).
Respondent Jones generally denied the allegations and asserted various affirmative defenses, and sought the award of costs and attorneys' fees.
On or about September 3, 2013, Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss, which Claimant opposed. The sole FINRA Arbitrator granted the motion and offered the following rationale:
Claimant worked as a Technical Specialist in Respondent's Tax Reporting Department. She was required to become registered with FINRA. She admitted that she was an employee-at-will. FINRA Rules and Respondent's employment policies required her to fully disclose all bankruptcies, unresolved tax liens and unsatisfied judgments on Form U-4. Her failures to do so required Respondent to file repeated amendments to Claimant's Form U-4 with the result that FINRA imposed substantial fines on Respondent. Because of that Claimant was discharged for violating Respondent's policies. Claimant's Statement of Claim is dismissed with prejudice.
Bill Singer's Comment
According to online FINRA records as of October 30, 2013, Claimant Morrison entered the securities industry around 2001 and first became registered in August 2011 with Respondent Jones. Online FINRA records further assert that on June 26, 2012, Respondent Jones discharged Claimant based upon the following allegation:
IN MAY OF 2011, MORRISON, A REGISTERED HOME OFFICE ASSOCIATE, ADVISED THE FIRM THAT SHE WAS NOT THE SUBJECT OF ANY UNSATISFIED JUDGMENTS OR LIENS. EDWARD JONES SUBSEQUENTLY DISCOVERED THAT MORRISON HAD BEEN SUBJECT TO ONE UNSATISFIED JUDGMENT AND ONE UNSATISFIED LIEN.
Online FINRA records provide the following comment from Morrison (in response to the disclosure of a September 7. 2010, civil judgment for $13,007.60):
REGARDING THIS ITEM, I WAS NOT AWARE OF THE JUDGMENT AT THE TIME I COMPLETED MY U-4 APPLICATION, THEREFORE, IT WAS NOT DISCLOSED ON MY INITIAL U-4 APPLICATION. I ADVISED MY FIRM (EMPLOYER) THAT IT WAS NOT MY INTENT TO PURPOSELY CONCEAL ANY MATTER FROM THEM PERTAINING TO MY BACKGROUND AND THIS WAS AN OVERSIGHT. I ANSWERED THE QUESTION ACCURATELY BASED ON THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I HAD AT THE TIME. ULTIMATELY, IT WAS THE DECISION OF MY EMPLOYER TO TERMINATE MY EMPLOYMENT AS A RESULT OF THIS MATTER.