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Edward Jones Sued by Ex-Rep Over Sexual Harassment

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What You Need to Know

  • An ex-Edward Jones rep alleges a member of its leadership team repeatedly pressured her to have sex with him.
  • The plaintiff alleges the firm was aware of sexual harassment by the senior team member and did nothing to stop it.
  • The senior team member who allegedly harassed the plaintiff now works for LPL Financial.

A female former registered representative at Edward Jones is suing the firm and has alleged it was aware that one of its male managers was a “sexual predator” and “repeat offender” but did nothing to stop his behavior before she became a target of his sexual harassment and a forced encounter at his home.

The ex-Edward Jones manager, Christopher Gervais, is currently registered as a rep for LPL Financial, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. Gervais is mentioned in the suit but is not named as a defendant.

“We are currently reviewing the lawsuit,” an Edward Jones spokesperson said Thursday. “We take allegations of this nature seriously and are committed to a safe and healthy workplace of belonging for all. The allegations in this lawsuit relate to matters that date back to 2016. Edward Jones terminated the employment of Chris Gervais due to these allegations in 2016.”

LPL and Gervais did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

More Details

In a complaint filed April 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division, Amanda Daugherty said she was hired as a financial advisor by Edward Jones on Nov. 30, 2015, to manage a branch and replace another female advisor who was relocating.

While attending mandatory training in Tempe, Arizona, in December 2015, Daugherty met Gervais, who was a part of the leadership team for the area and in a senior position relative to her, according to the complaint.

Daugherty, who was 32 at the time, “became Gervais’s target for sexual harassment and conquest,” the complaint alleged, saying she was “vulnerable and looked up to Gervais, who was older and occupying a leadership role at Edward Jones, as a potential mentor.”

At the end of the professional development program training week, Gervais “propositioned Plaintiff outside of her hotel room and continued to press Plaintiff for a sexual encounter in order to ‘get their relief’ from the high stress of working at the Firm,” the complaint alleges.

“Gervais continued to pressure Plaintiff by stating that everyone at … Edward Jones has sex with each other and that the firm culture was ‘just like the Olympics, where condoms are the most purchased item by the athletes,’” the complaint alleges.

After Daugherty “denied Gervais and closed herself in her hotel room, Gervais continued to send sexually inappropriate text messages to Plaintiff insisting, among other things, that ‘it took everything not to kiss [her] good night,’ ‘[he didn’t] think [he] could stop though with just a kiss,” the complaint alleges.

In July 2016, Gervais insisted that Daugherty fly to Minnesota to meet him for further training and provided airline tickets for her, according to the complaint.

Upon arrival, however, she learned there was no training event and Gervais had used it as an excuse to force her to meet him at his home “many states away from her branch,” the complaint alleges.

A ‘Forced Sexual Encounter’

While in Gervais’s home in Minnesota, Gervais aggressively kissed Daugherty, then pressured her “into a forced sexual encounter,” according to the complaint.

The plaintiff later discovered that his “predatory conduct was known by Edward Jones as Gervais had received counseling for his behavior,” the complaint alleges.

Gervais’s wife also “confirmed that Edward Jones was aware of Gervais’s previous unlawful conduct but did nothing to remedy it,” according to the complaint.

“Despite Gervais status as a sexual predator and repeat offender, Edward Jones’ management permitted Gervais to continue in his leadership role grooming young female employees of Edward Jones at out of state mandatory training events which led directly to Plaintiff’s victimization,” the complaint alleges.

After Daugherty complained about Gervais’s behavior, “Edward Jones treated Gervais and Plaintiff differently and in irregular ways,” with Gervais being “permitted to resign without further adverse action” while “making a formal warning of her ‘unprofessional conduct’ part of her employment record,” according to the complaint.

“Despite having knowledge of [Gervais’s] prior tendencies and having delivered Plaintiff to Gervais for grooming and mentoring, Edward Jones wholly failed to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior, but instead brought adverse action against the victim,” the complaint alleges.

“Eventually, Edward Jones used this event as a basis for the unlawful termination of the Plaintiff” in May 2019, despite her “being the victim of the sexual grooming and harassment by the team leader,” according to the complaint.

After Edward Jones

“As a result of this disparity in treatment, Plaintiff was unable to find similar employment for an extended period of time following her unlawful termination at Edward Jones, and was denied the promotion to the highest earning level she had met all conditions for,” the complaint alleges.

However, Daugherty became a FINRA-registered rep for FSC Securities in May 2019, after leaving Edward Jones that month, according to her report on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.

She then left to join Raymond James in August 2019 and has been registered with Harbor Financial Services since November 2020. She is still registered as a broker and advisor, according to BrokerCheck.

After Daugherty left Edward Jones, its “agents continued to publish disparaging remarks about Plaintiff overcharging clients during her employment by Defendant and making threatening statements about doing business with Plaintiff to Plaintiff’s clients and members of the public,” according to the complaint.

“The statements were false when made and made with the intent of prejudicing those to whom they were published against Plaintiff,” the complaint alleges.

Daugherty alleges Edward Jones violated her civil rights by discriminating against her.

She is requesting a jury trial; compensatory damages, including front pay and back pay; special damages due to the defendant’s “disparaging words against [the] Plaintiff’s business interests”; reinstatement to her branch; all costs and attorneys’ fees; liquidated damages and all appropriate statutory and regulatory damages; punitive and exemplary damages as allowed by law sufficient to deter like conduct by similarly situated defendants; and interest at the maximum legal rate.