Does this apply to you?
Have you worked as a Financial Advisor or similar role in California and participated in a business expense reimbursement program? If so, we would like to talk to you about your rights under California law.
We represent California Financial Advisors in litigation against Morgan Stanley to recover the cost of expenses borne by FAs through Morgan Stanley’s Automated Flexible Grid (“AFG”) program from April 23, 2013 to the present. We have been litigating this case, called Chen v. Morgan Stanley, in Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 30-2014-00724866-CU-OE-CXC, since 2014.
The AFG program passes the cost of various business expenses—such as support staff compensation, IT infrastructure, and marketing—from the company onto employees. These policies may violate California laws protecting employees from covering the overhead and other expenses of their employers and protecting against improper pay deductions.
The lawsuit was set to go to trial in 2019, but the trial was delayed by the settlement of an overlapping case, called Harvey v. Morgan Stanley, Case No. 18-cv-02835-WHO, in federal court in San Francisco (the Northern District of California). The settlement in that case would provide FAs with approximately $5-42 in compensation per month worked for Morgan Stanley since April 2013. If the court grants preliminarily approval of the settlement, a letter will go out this summer to California FAs who have worked for Morgan Stanley since April 2013, describing the proposed settlement and giving them an opportunity to opt out (if they wish to pursue their claims outside that settlement) or object (if they think the settlement is not good enough and should be rejected). Then, this fall, based in part on the FAs’ responses to that letter, the court will then decide whether to approve the settlement.
The outcome of the Harvey settlement may impact our lawsuit (Chen). We will provide additional information on this website as it becomes available.