Last fall, Wells Fargo admitted it had created over 2 million phony accounts as a result of an incentives program that rewarded employees who increased their sales numbers. Some employees who tried to report these wrong activities were retaliated against and fired. Wells Fargo says that they have now learned that some of these whistleblower reports do have merit. As a result, they have hired a third party to review claims by current and former employees who had called the ethics line and were terminated or had received a “corrective action” in their employee file within twelve months.
Wells Fargo Whistleblowers Wrongfully Terminated
One former bank employee reported that he had been instructed to open phony bank and credit accounts which he reported to the ethics hotline. Later, he was terminated for being late to work. Now, he has a mark on his securities license and has had to take a part-time job at a local grocery chain. The loss of income put him on the verge of bankruptcy.
What will Wells Fargo do if it learns that the employee was wrongfully terminated? Wells Fargo does not have a clear plan on what they will do rectify the wrong. A Wells Fargo spokeswoman states “We will have to work through that with that individual.”
Wells Fargo has created a new Office of Ethics, Oversight and Integrity to oversee any matter that may be questionable. Hopefully, Wells Fargo can earn the trust they have lost by the public and its employees by addressing any reports of unethical practices promptly.
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Gail Hughes Donaldson is a Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She’s been helping families work through the bankruptcy process since she started with Bond & Botes back in 1993 as a paralegal. Read her full bio here.