If you’ve been following the news over the last months, you’ve probably seen that Wells Fargo has landed in hot water over some questionable sales practices. To meet unrealistic sales goals set by the bank, its employees had allegedly been signing up consumers for accounts and other services without their knowledge. In fact, evidence has revealed that they did this around 2 million times.
Wells Fargo fired around 5,300 employees for engaging in this fraudulent behavior, but many on the inside and outside of the company have claimed that the practice was widespread and even encouraged by managers and supervisors. The bank agreed to a settlement of $185 million in relation to the case.
Now, one employee has sued the bank claiming that she was retaliated against for coming forward about similar actions she witnessed as an employee of 14 years. In the suit, she claims she had knowledge of more than 24 “fraudulent, illegal, and deceptive practices against Wells Fargo customers.” She says that after she came forward, she had her managerial duties taken away, she was transferred to another branch, had her wages reduced and was given poor evaluations. Eventually, 10 months after speaking out, she was fired.
Time will tell how this case turns out, but it’s important to note that employees have a right to speak out against illegal activities without retaliation. If an employee is retaliated against by their employer, they may want to consider hiring an attorney who specializes in whistleblower cases. An attorney can ensure the whistleblower’s rights are protected in court.
Source: bizjournals.com, “Wells Fargo whistleblower from Sonoma sues the bank for ‘retaliatory’ firing,” Riley McDermid, December 19, 2016