(Reuters) - Merrill Lynch agreed to pay a $1 million fine for failing to arbitrate disputes with employees about retention bonuses related to its 2009 merger with Bank of America Corp., the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said.

FINRA alleged that Merrill forced brokers to sign documents requiring them to resolve disputes about the bonuses in court, according to a settlement document released by the regulator on Wednesday. Merrill paid $2.8 billion in retention bonuses structured as loans to more than 5,000 brokers at the time of the merger, according to FINRA.

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