Wall Street Firm Hit with Disability Discrimination Charges

September 28, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued Wall Street specialist trading firm LaBranche & Co Inc. over allegations that it discriminated against an ex-employee with bipolar disorder.

The EEOC suit against LaBranche – the New York Stock Exchange’s largest market-maker – was filed on behalf of former employee Peter Servidio, according to a Reuters news report.

The federal suit said that between 2000 and 2003, Servidio’s supervisors and co-workers “made him the frequent target of offensive comments about his disability” after he was hospitalized in 2000 for manic depression. He was threatened and ordered to stop pursuing the matter after he complained to his supervisors, the suit alleged.

By December 12, 2003, he was discharged after suffering a panic attack 12 days earlier as a result of the retaliation, the suit said.

The suit seeks to reinstate Servidio and provide compensation for emotional distress, as well as demanding changes in the company’s employment practice “which discriminates on the basis of disability.”