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Former Schwab Online Advisor Wins Back Wages

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Discount broker Charles Schwab has been ordered by the New York Stock Exchange to compensate a former employee for "emotional distress" caused by the firm's handling of her computer, as well as other problems, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The former employee, Rose Mary Finocchi, was also awarded $106,500 in lost wages for nearly five years and $20,000 to cover the costs of the arbitration hearing, the exchange ruled. She will received another $150,000 from Schwab for her legal fees. Finocchi's request for punitive damages was denied.

According to WSJ, Finocchi was hired into the firm's Phoenix, Ariz., office, in 1999 as a financial adviser in training. The department handles customer e-mail inquiries. Employees there were rated on a number of factors, including how much e-mail they responded to, said Marc Susswein, of the New York-based law firm Liddle & Robinson. In April 2000, Finocchi got a new boss with whom she didn't get along, he said.

Two months later, her computer broke down, and although she notified her boss, she soon received a reprimand for "statistical manipulation," Susswein said. In July 2000, she was fired.

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