29 U.S. Code § 216 - Penalties. . .(b) Damages; right of action; attorney's fees and costs; termination of right of actionAny employer who violates the provisions of section 206 or section 207 of this title shall be liable to the employee or employees affected in the amount of their unpaid minimum wages, or their unpaid overtime compensation, as the case may be, and in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages. . . in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid by the defendant, and costs of the action. . .
One conspiracy theory, to which I whole-heartedly ascribe, is that this is exactly what the industry wants, and with an overly compliant self-regulator, this is exactly what the industry gets. This is why we have mandatory arbitration involving labor disputes. This is why so much of what really goes on in the branches and trading desks remains hermetically sealed from the prying eyes of the public.
No, I am not a fan or proponent of mandatory arbitration. It stinks when this unfair bargain is forced upon public customers. It stinks, just as badly, when it's forced upon industry registered persons. And the byproduct of all this forced dispute resolution is far too much secrecy and non-disclosure that always seems to further the best interests of FINRA's largest member firms to the detriment of the individual men and women who work at those firms and to the detriment of public customers who feel defrauded by those firms. If you really believe that arbitration is freely bargained for, do me a favor, try and open a brokerage account after you crossed out the arbitration clause -- and if you're seeking employment, let me know how that also goes when you decline to be subject to the intra-industry dispute resolution provisions.FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure13200. Required Arbitration(a) GenerallyExcept as otherwise provided in the Code, a dispute must be arbitrated under the Code if the dispute arises out of the business activities of a member or an associated person and is between or among: Members; Members and Associated Persons; or Associated Persons.(b) Insurance ActivitiesDisputes arising out of the insurance business activities of a member that is also an insurance company are not required to be arbitrated under the Code.13201. Statutory Employment Discrimination Claims and Disputes Arising Under a Whistleblower Statute that Prohibits the Use of Predispute Arbitration Agreements(a) Statutory Employment Discrimination ClaimsA claim alleging employment discrimination, including sexual harassment, in violation of a statute, is not required to be arbitrated under the Code. Such a claim may be arbitrated only if the parties have agreed to arbitrate it, either before or after the dispute arose. If the parties agree to arbitrate such a claim, the claim will be administered under Rule 13802.(b) Disputes Arising Under a Whistleblower Statute that Prohibits the Use of Predispute Arbitration AgreementsA dispute arising under a whistleblower statute that prohibits the use of predispute arbitration agreements is not required to be arbitrated under the Code. Such a dispute may be arbitrated only if the parties have agreed to arbitrate it after the dispute arose.Form U4:15A. INDIVIDUAL/APPLICANT'S ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND CONSENT. . .5. I agree to arbitrate any dispute, claim or controversy that may arise between me and my firm, or a customer, or any other person, that is required to be arbitrated under the rules, constitutions, or by-laws of the SROs indicated in Section 4 (SRO REGISTRATION) as may be amended from time to time and that any arbitration award rendered against me may be entered as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction.