Merrill Lynch and BofA Destroy Career Of Female Advisor; Admonished By Arbitrator In Expungement Ruling
Merrill Lynch was rightfully tagged with a damning admonishment in an arbitration ruling that included the description of their behavior that included this: “…reckless disregard for the truth.”
Read that again. Reckless disregard for the truth. To be crystal clear regarding the facts of the case – a female advisor (Colette Wigart) was fired for opening a savings account on behalf of a client, the mentally incapacitated client complained, the firm NEVER spoke to the client during their flaccid investigation, a career was ruined.
Here is what the arbitrator said about BofA’s behavior:
“The failure of the respondent to interview the client and accept the allegations at face value, despite her well-known memory impairment…demonstrates a reckless disregard for the truth,” arbitrator Dean J. Dietrich wrote.
BofA didn’t even investigate the allegation even after Ms. Wigart’s explanation of events and the client’s mental health, in an obvious attempt to keep her job. BofA was like, Nah you’re fired. Amazing.
Ms. Wigart didn’t back down, spent the time and legal expense to clear her name, and won. In fact, not only was her record expunged but the arbitrator handed her legal fees to be paid by BofA to the tune of $50,000.
Winning a rightful judgment against a banking behemoth feels great – but the real tragedy is this: BofA ruined this woman’s career as she has been unable to find employment at any subsequent bank of brokerage. Terrible. Heartless. As the arbiter said, “…reckless disregard for the truth.”
Ms. Wigart’s case was strengthened when another of the clients’ advisors gave testimony that he had to end his work on behalf of the client after she had made subsequent complaints about other transactions that she had in fact actually approved.
So what really happened – BofA doesn’t give a shit, will fire you, and won’t even take the time to gather any relevant details; employing the kind of workplace justice that says ‘we dare ya to take us on’. Ms. Wigart did just that and won.
Good for her, and shame on BofA/Merrill.