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Wells Fargo Ordered to Reinstate Whistleblower and Pay Him $5.4Mn

April 5, 2017

The Department of Labor’s OSHA unit (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) announced that Wells Fargo must reinstate a former bank manager who lost his job after reporting suspected fraudulent activities at the bank. The bank must pay the unnamed individual $5.4 million – comprising back wages, compensatory damages and attorneys fees.


According to the federal regulator, Wells Fargo ‘abruptly’ forced the manager to leave his Los Angeles branch in 2010 after he reported to superiors that he suspected two of his subordinates of committing bank, mail and wire fraud. The manager also called the bank’s ethics hot line.  OSHA concluded that the manager’s whistleblowing was at least a contributing factor in his firing.


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.


A spokesperson for Wells Fargo, who said the bank would fight OSHA’s order, noted that the bank manager worked in the wealth management group and not the community bank, which is the epi-center of the bank’s sales and account scandal. [Financialish: and how does that matter?]


In any event, while Wells Fargo awaits its opportunity to have a full hearing on the OSHA order, it must nevertheless immediately offer the fired manager his job back.