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.
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.