Lincoln Financial Group, parent to the independent broker-dealer Lincoln Financial Network, and a former recruiter settled an age discrimination claim that alleged the recruiter, Louis Hanna, was fired in October 2017 for “poor performance.”
At the time he was 50 years old, had early-stage prostate cancer and was seeking medical leave, according to the complaint.
Terms of the settlement, which was revealed last Thursday in U.S. district court in Philadelphia, were not released.
An attorney for Hanna, Diane Yandach, declined Monday morning to comment. He is now registered with Coastal Equities Inc., according to his BrokerCheck profile.
A spokesperson for Lincoln Financial Group wrote in an email: “Lincoln Financial is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce and providing equal opportunities for all. We decided it was best to put this matter behind us by reaching a resolution.”
Hanna, who was seeking back pay and damages, filed his initial claim in May 2019 and an amended complaint that August. In that lawsuit Hanna alleged that Lincoln Financial fired him because of age and/or disability, which violates federal law. The lawsuit also alleged that Lincoln held back commissions.
Recruiters of independent financial advisers work in a volume business. They are commonly paid a small percentage of a recruit’s prior year’s total revenue and have goals and targets set by their companies.
According to the lawsuit, Lincoln hired Hanna in 2015 for a dual role of regional recruiter and internal recruiter team manager, a unique position at the time. By the spring of 2017, he revealed his health issues to Lincoln’s human resources department, was given production goals for that year and in June was told he needed to show “significant improvement,” according to the complaint.
After Hanna’s disclosure of his health issues, his managers and others “began to discriminate, retaliate and otherwise demonstrate a bias against” Hanna, including making inappropriate comments regarding his being unreliable and “playing the victim,” according to the complaint.
Lincoln also allegedly stole or diverted leads on potential financial adviser recruits, according to the complaint, and failed to give Hanna credit for advisers he recruited.
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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.