Wells Fargo & Co. has had its share of troubles recently. Banking authorities are investigating illegal practices that employees were apparently instructed to follow, and the massive financial institution has already been issued millions of dollars in fines. Bank executives are expected to face congressional committees who are investigating the fraud allegedly perpetrated on bank customers. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo is also dealing with new accusations as hundreds of its California employees file suit for wrongful termination.
The suit alleges that workers were fired over the past 10 years for refusing to open fake accounts to keep up with mandatory sales quotas. However, Wells Fargo says it recently fired over 5,000 employees because they did open such accounts without permission from customers. The former employees accuse Wells Fargo of wrongful termination and withholding wages. They are seeking $2.6 billion in damages.
A class-action suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, but after the attorney for the case was deluged with calls from other states, he decided to file the case federally. If the federal case proceeds as a class action, personnel records may have to be consulted to determine how many employees would be entitled to participate. Another case filed by nine fired employees is already set for trial next year.
Wells Fargo admits to creating approximately two million fraudulent accounts using customer information. Many employees who refused to participate in the illegal practice are now involved in numerous wrongful termination class-action lawsuits, as well as individual lawsuits in California and other states where Wells Fargo operates. The besieged bank may be dealing with these actions for years in the future.
Source: mcall.com, "Workers say Wells Fargo fired them for not opening bogus accounts", James Rufus Koren, Oct. 24, 2016