A federal regulator on Monday ordered Wells Fargo to pay $5.4 million to a former manager who said he was fired in 2010 after reporting to his supervisors and to a bank ethics hotline what he suspected was fraudulent behavior. The bank must also rehire him, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said.
OSHA concluded that the manager was “abruptly” forced to leave a Los Angeles branch of the bank in 2010, after he told superiors he suspected two of his subordinates of bank, mail and wire fraud. The manager also called the bank’s ethics hotline. OSHA determined his whistleblowing was “at least a contributing factor in his termination.”
According to OSHA, the manager had previously received positive job performance appraisals, but in 2010 he was told he had 90 days to find a new job at the bank after being dismissed as a manager. He was unable to do so and was terminated, and has not found work in banking since.
Although the agency didn’t elaborate on the alleged misconduct, regulators announced in September that Wells Fargo employees sought for years to meet aggressive sales targets by opening unauthorized accounts for customers. The scandal triggered investigations and congressional hearings, prompting the lender to shake up leadership, deny bonuses to executives, and fire some senior managers in the consumer business.
* * *If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.