Morgan Stanley Retaliated Against Whistleblower, Suit Claims


Morgan Stanley is facing a lawsuit for allegedly retaliating against a former employee who complained about company policy breaches.

According to the complaint, filed in the Superior Court for the State of California of the County of San Francisco, starting at the end of 2022, Francine Torres had seen colleagues and managers using co-workers’ passwords to make customer trades, in violation of federal securities law and company policy.

According to the suit, when she complained to her immediate manager, other managers and human resources, ”no one took any action.”

Instead, the complaint continues, Morgan Stanley “retaliated against her, by among other things, imposing onerous working conditions on her” such as revoking her permission to work remotely, despite allowing her coworkers to continue to do so.

Torres, in her forties, was recruited by Morgan Stanley in 2017. Before the events giving rise to the whistleblower complaint, Torres “received stellar work performance reviews, promotions and bonuses. She was a model employee,” the suit states.

Before complaining about her co-worker’s “violations of the law and company policy, Torres was allowed to work remotely,” the suit states. “In addition, her co-workers and managers began ostracizing her, making her working conditions intolerable. When she requested and attempted to apply for other positions outside her branch with Morgan, Torres was specifically advised that she was prohibited from doing so.”

According to the suit, Morgan Stanley instructed Torres to end the complaints “and never to raise the violation of the law.” She refused.

As a result, Morgan Stanley “demoted and constructively terminated” Torres.

The suit alleges Torres “has suffered and continues to suffer humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, mental anguish and emotional distress,” and will continue to incur attorney fees and costs related to recovering the damages caused by Morgan Stanley.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the suit.