NASDR statistics reveal that the number of employment disputes decreased for the second straight year.

According to data obtained by Securities Arbitration Commentator newsletter, 79 cases alleging wrongful termination were filed at the NASDR in 1999, down from 125 in 1998 and 166 in 1997. Employment discrimination cases also declined to 108, from 115 in 1998 and 167 in 1997.

The wrongful termination category does not encompass compensation-related claims.

Meanwhile, customer claims jumped 14 percent this past year, to 5,608 filings, compared with 4,938 in 1998.

"You'd think that with more [broker] migration that there would be more [employment] claims, but it may just be that brokers are sitting tight because things were so good" in 1999, says Richard Ryder, editor of Securities Arbitration Commentator, Maplewood, N.J. "They didn't have time to be looking around. Everybody was meeting production quotas, so fewer brokers were getting fired."

Damage awards for employment cases also fell for two years running.