Legal Basis for O/T Lawsuits

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Aug 19, 2006 1:25 pm

Let me start by saying that I completely agree with the comments posted by N2, joe, mikebutler and others about the absurdity of brokers expecting overtime pay.


I've worked far longer hours as a military officer or as an engineer in past careers and there are no circumstances where I would have expected overtime pay.  The other thing that ought to be obvious to people who sign on to these suits is that firms will just find a way to extract the money (and minimize their future exposure) from those of us that are actually productive and honest.  In other words, every person that signs up to get money from this mess is actually hurting the rest of us.  If you expect overtime, then go work at McDonalds.


I don't mean to rant, but this whole thing really bothers me. 


Here's what I don't understand: What exactly is the legal basis for these lawsuits?  I've been an exempt employee my entire career and I believe I still am today.  In this context, exempt means exempt from labor laws like overtime rules and I just don't understand how these attorneys can even advance such a claim.


Aug 24, 2006 1:07 pm

Proton:


I wasn't planning on posting here anymore, but you seem like the first sensible person to ask a real question about the overtime issues and not be overly-emotional about it, so I'll just say this:  The concept of getting overtime when nearly the entire industry denies it to Reg. Reps. DOES surprise people and probably DOES seem very strange.  What you need to understand is that things that seem odd can still be true.  This one is true, but employers have made a mint off of their brokers for years by not talking about it.


It's funny that my head is "on the block" in this forum for speaking the truth and saying the "world is actually round" when the law is so easy to check for those who are willing to accept that they may be mistaken.  Talk about censorship!  Instead of checking the rules for themselves, they doubt an attorney who has practiced in this field for 14 years and can tell them exactly where to look for the answers themselves.  Anyway, that's just my personal frustration with ignorance, in general, and I've seen plenty of it.


Your comment "If you expect overtime, then go work at McDonalds" is EXACTLY what I was talking about before when I mentioned the concept of "prestige."  No one wants to think that they themselves are elitist, but that's exactly what the employers are selling to and, apparently, you're buying into.  There has been this brainwashing of American workers that overtime pay is something that only low/entry level employee gets.  Not true!  Who do you imagine perpetuates that myth?  Do you folks on this forum hate Michael Moore for exposing the "culture of fear" too?  Yeah, he's on his soapbox a lot, but cna teach people who aren't too far gone something very important about corruption by politicians, and...yes...AG Edwards!


Anyway, I'm logging off here.  I am happy to answer any questions you have if you wish to call or write me directly.  No, you don't need to have a case.  That not all that we're about, although we do have a business to run just as you do, and we don't apologize for making money by doing our jobs.  I'm actually just genuinely happy to inform the public about this fraud by the brokerage houses which is, fortunately, finally starting to change.  A fun job is where you can make a living, change the way people look at things and stop people from getting cheated.  I'm sure you've never churned an account, and so I'm sure you can say the same of yours.  Anyway, good luck to you.



-Scott Cole

Aug 24, 2006 2:43 pm

Mr. Cole stands to make hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, if he can convince you to sue the hand that feeds you.


He will say anything to get you to do that.  You may not believe this, but lawyers will lie to you, me, and that guy behind the tree.  Lying is their specialty, they are professionals at it.


Oh sure, if he can find enough people at (say) UBS to make it worthwhile to him he will bring the class action suit--claiming all the while that it's not him, it's you who are clamoring to sue.  He actually believes you were born late at night, and it was last night.


Put yourself in the mind of your firm's management.  Suppose you're a branch manager in Dallas and you find out that one of the guys in your office is a member of a class action law suit against the firm that writes the paychecks.  Some nonsense about having to work hard in order to break into the business.  Pure drivel.


Anyway, what would you do?  Would you ever give that broker another lead?  Of course you woudn't.


Would you urge your legal department to represent him too if a complaint is filed against him?  Of course not--by the way it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars if you have to get  your own counsel in a customer complaint, far more than Mr. Cole's nonsensical class would get for you.


Would you give him a good recommendation if he should wash out of the business and need to find another career?  Of course not.


Would you be very harsh with him when it comes to breaking little rules that are normally ignored?  You bet you would.


Would you tell every other manager in town who he is so that they will know not to hire him should he try to jump ship?  Of course.


Will you transfer his sales assistant to somebody else, leaving him with nobody to answer his phone?  I would, so would you.


Finally, would you establish a policy where he is not welcome in the office before 8:30 AM and after 5:00 PM because you are not there to properly supervise him?  Yep, that too.


Anybody who even considers something offered by a lawyer who wants to sue your employer is crazy--he has absolutely none of your best interest at heart.  He wants you to ruin your career for his bag of silver--he is as despicable a character as Judas from the Bible.


Shun him, it's the only thing his type can grasp.


Go to his website.  He's not even bright enough to know that he was not a member of the NASD.  Somebody sponsored him to take Series 7--probably some sleazy brokerage firm took $500 from him and sponsored him so he could get a feel for what the test was like.


Then, in his ignorance, he claims that he's a member of the NASD.


What a clown.

Aug 24, 2006 3:30 pm

NASD Newbie,you have too much to say about too many things. 


I agree with you that brokers probably should not be considered eligible for overtime.  "Judas from the Bible"?  Come on, tone it down. 


I am sure this Coles guy is in it for the money but all of us working stiffs do what we do for the bucks.  So what? 


We have some really good posts on here but not enough.  Your attacks only scare off more folks.  I for one have gotten some really good advice from some comments here.  Some of the recruiters and lawyers make excellent sense and seem to care about us. Not all but some.  Why can't we encourage those people to add more to this forum?

Aug 24, 2006 4:09 pm

You don't find Judas to be a despicable character?

Aug 24, 2006 4:26 pm
ClassCounsel:

Instead of checking the rules for themselves, they doubt an attorney who has practiced in this field for 14 years and can tell them exactly where to look for the answers themselves.  Anyway, that's just my personal frustration with ignorance, in general, and I've seen plenty of it.

NASD Newbie:

Anybody who even considers something offered by
a lawyer who wants to sue your employer is crazy--he has absolutely
none of your best interest at heart.  He wants you to ruin your career
for his bag of silver--he is as despicable a character as Judas from
the Bible.



What we here is failure to communicate.

Without taking sides, I'd just like to point out that we have two different concurrent conversations.  We have an attorney defending the legality of his actions, and a number of brokers responding by saying it's wrong to do so.

I'd just like to point out that the issues of "This can be done" and "This is the right thing to do" are completely different.

Very few of us are qualified to debate the legality of the claim with CC.  But it may help us define the conversation if we DID understand the circumstance of the claim.

Many people on this forum are interested in this issue and the impacts it will have on our industry.  Candidates ask me about this issue all the time. Personally, I am at the epicenter of this debate.  It may have serious consqeuences for my practice.

Proton asks an excellent question. CC has not answered.  And I don't think it would be appropriate for any of us to just take his word for it (no matter how many years experience he has).  I'd still like to hear Proton's explanation of how a self-directed exempt employee in a traditionally pay-for-performance role can be reclassified as a non-exempt employee.



Aug 24, 2006 5:02 pm
brkrpro:

NASD Newbie,you have too much to say about too many things. 


I agree with you that brokers probably should not be considered eligible for overtime.  "Judas from the Bible"?  Come on, tone it down. 


I am sure this Coles guy is in it for the money but all of us working stiffs do what we do for the bucks.  So what? 


We have some really good posts on here but not enough.  Your attacks only scare off more folks.  I for one have gotten some really good advice from some comments here.  Some of the recruiters and lawyers make excellent sense and seem to care about us. Not all but some.  Why can't we encourage those people to add more to this forum?



Then newbie won't be able to say anything ...... except for his dog.

Aug 26, 2006 2:43 am

Dear Jeff,


You mentioned above: "I'd still like to hear Proton's explanation of how a self-directed exempt employee in a traditionally pay-for-performance role can be reclassified as a non-exempt employee."


I don't have an explanation and I was hoping to get one from the attorney.  Regardless of his explanation, I would not sign up for this type of suit since I think it is incorrect (factually, if not legally) and I believe we are as exempt as an employee can get in what is an essentially entrepreneurial position.


The last thing in the world I want is overtime pay.  That said, like you, I am interested in understanding the legal basis of these lawsuits.


I happen to disagree with Mr. Cole though I am willing to listen to him without starting yet another pointless shoutfest.


Aug 27, 2006 12:34 am

Mr. Coles your efforts may be legal, but hardly 'helpful' to anyone in the industry except for those who were so unsuccessful that they would earn more by conniving to be paid 'overtime' via your extortionist perversion of the legal system.

If you have not yet figured it out, your presence is not welcome in this industry, nor generally on this board.  We who have have been entrepreneurial, hard working, and successful do not welcome your  so-called "help".

Traditionally, trainees were paid a salary for a VERY short time to help them get licensed and get their feet under them before going on full comission.  Those who wanted to get their business off to a strong start worked harder than others, and once they went on comission were rewarded handsomely for their efforts.

In the last decade or so, the major firms have extended the salaried periods in an effort to bring in higher quality recruits and give them the opportunity to build their business with an eye on the longer-term health of their practice.  The goal, however, was ultimately for them to operate without a salary.  It was merely support for them to work towards that goal.

You have yet to address how your efforts will help anyone outside this small circle of "victims" who couldn't hack it as advisors/brokers, so they're reaching their hands out for a settlement.  How will it help succesful advisors?  How will it help investors?

No, the only person this effort will really benefit would be YOURSELF.  You are a sad example of what ills the legal profession these days.

Your efforts, if succesful, will diminish the opportunities available to qualified men and women looking to get into our industry, and as well reduce the pool of bright creative folks who might be there to help future investors.  Another great profession ruined by the lawyers.

In all honesty, I can easily count on one hand the number of times that an attorney has made a positive contribution to my time in this business.  The negative incidents, however, are plentiful, and  you can add this time to the list.

I simply fail to understand how you can expect an individual with the ability to earn large sums of money from incentive pay to also be paid overtime.

What's next-should baseball players get additional compensation for extra inning games?

Just curious, barrister, do you pay your associates overtime?  How about your partners?

Aug 27, 2006 10:10 am

He's a one man shop--just him and his girl Friday.


Yesterday I heard the "If you've lost money in the stock market, mutual funds, or variable annuities call the law offices of James Sokolove......."


Sokolove is the role model for these tort whores such as Cole.  If you read their advertising or listen to the TV and radio ads you'll encounter the idea that they actually just turn the cases over to other whores.  Essentially they're nothing but scheduling offices, and they rake off a share.


As Joeboy said, these class action suits are a form of gambling by the plaintiff's bar--roll the dice.  If they win they win huge, if they lose they don't lose anything because they're going to bill their clients for their out of pocket costs such as the incredible amount of paper they use, the fees paid to stenographers and the like.


They truly are the scum on the top of the cesspool that is our legal system.

Aug 27, 2006 10:14 am
NASD Newbie:

You don't find Judas to be a despicable character?


I find you to be a despicable character.