X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A broker’s sexual harassment claim against the American Stock Exchange for allegedly failing to discipline another broker who was making unwanted sexual advances has been dismissed by a state appellate court that says her claims are pre-empted by federal law. The Appellate Division, 2nd Department, this week in Bantum v. American Stock Exchange, 2003-04678, unanimously reversed Justice James P. Dollard’s denial of motions by the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) to dismiss Dawn Bantum’s discrimination claims under New York state’s and New York City’s human rights laws. Bantum, the first black woman to become a floor broker at the stock exchange, had alleged that the exchange failed to conduct a proper investigation into her claims that a competing trader, Lawrence Polatchek of Heights Partners Inc., had been harassing her. Justice Dollard of Queens Supreme Court rejected all of the exchange’s arguments for dismissal, including one that the suit should be dismissed because the state and city human rights laws apply only to discrimination in places of public accommodation and that the trading floor was private. A four-judge appellate panel addressed only one issue, which it said disposed of the case: the pre-emption of federal securities law over the local human rights statutes. The question of pre-emption was one of congressional intent, the 2nd Department said. “In the instant case, the legislative history suggests that Congress intended to preempt state interference with a self-regulating organization’s regulatory functions through implementing regulations” of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the court said. The American Stock Exchange is registered as a national securities exchange and is a self-regulating organization as defined by SEC regulations, the judges observed, and it has a disciplinary process to punish members who violate federal securities laws or internal AMEX rules or regulations. “[T]o allow the plaintiff’s claims against AMEX arising out of its disciplinary functions would clearly ‘stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress’ … which is essentially to encourage stringent self-regulation of the securities industry,” they added. The panel, comprised of Justices Howard Miller, Daniel F. Luciano, Robert W. Schmidt and Sandra L. Townes, dismissed Bantum’s complaint against AMEX and its officials named in the suit and severed the action against the remaining defendants. However, Polatchek and Heights Partners Inc. settled with Bantum for an undisclosed amount before the appeal was argued, said Anthony Carabba of Carabba Locke, who represented Bantum. The AMEX defendants were represented by Peter A. Walker and Lori M. Mayers of Seyfarth Shaw and Brian G. Cesaratto of White Plains.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.