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UBS Pushes Advisor Lawsuit to Federal Court

April 6, 2018

Wirehouse UBS has moved a lawsuit filed by one of its former advisors from a California state court to federal court, FA-IQ sister publication FundFire writes. California’s labor code is known as being generous to employees in wage disputes, according to FundFire.

Advisor Larry Van Steenhuyse had filed suit in a California state court on behalf of current and former financial advisors employed by UBS in California, as well as on behalf of the State of California. Adopted in 2016, the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act lets employees file such lawsuits for labor code violations, which can result in larger recovery than a plaintiff filing on their own behalf, according to the publication. But this week, UBS was able to remove the lawsuit to federal court in the Northern District of California, FundFire writes.

Steenhuyse’s lawsuit alleges UBS failed to reimburse business expenses, misclassified advisors as being exempt from overtime pay, didn’t provide required breaks, failed to pay commissions as well as wages upon separation on time, and required its advisors to sign contracts violating California law, according to the publication.

In its court filings, UBS denied any liability and reserved the right to contest the suit’s merits, FundFire writes. The wirehouse also claims Van Steenhuyse as well as other advisors fell under the administrative exemption and therefore were exempt from overtime pay, according to the publication. A UBS spokesman declined further comment to FundFire.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the FundFire article cited in this story, click here.