Finra arbitration panel awards $2 million to former Edward Jones rep in discrimination claim

Firm vows to fight decision holding it violated Americans with Disabilities Act

Jan 14, 2019 @ 2:00 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

A former Edward Jones broker won $2 million in a discrimination claim against the firm in Finra arbitration.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. arbitrators decided Edward Jones was liable for back pay and front pay damages to Rodney Hunter Schurg for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. The three-person, all-public panel, however, held that Mr. Schurg's claims of Family and Medical Leave Act interference and defamation were without merit.

Edward Jones said it will fight the ruling.

"Edward Jones strongly disagrees with the arbitrators' decision and award in this matter," firm spokesman John G. Boul said in a statement. "We are reviewing the arbitrators' decision and evaluating alternatives regarding the firm's response."

Neither Mr. Schurg nor his attorneys responded to requests for comment.

Mr. Schurg worked for Edward Jones for 14 years until he was terminated in July 2016, according to his BrokerCheck profile. For the last two months of his tenure, he was on medical leave. The arbitration award does not explain the reason for Mr. Schurg's medical leave.

A customer dispute involving Mr. Schurg occurred at the time of his absence from the Edward Jones office in Lander, Wyoming. The client alleged that he failed to invest in 10 equities on her behalf in May 2016.

In a statement on his BrokerCheck profile, Mr. Schurg said he couldn't execute that order because his medical leave started shortly after his meeting with the client, and he was prohibited from conducting business while away from the office. He said he was assured by Edward Jones that someone would take care of his clients in his absence but that the firm failed to follow through.

"I was surprised to learn that the money was not invested," Mr. Schurg wrote. The client's claim was resolved for $550.

Mr. Schurg has been an investment adviser representative for LPL Financial in Lander since 2016, according to a public disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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