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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Wells Fargo faces wrongful termination and retaliation suits

Legal action and reports of unscrupulous business practices have plagued Wells Fargo in California and throughout the country. Many allegations have surfaced, including unjust firing and retaliation. According to former Wells Fargo employees, they endured terminations or other mistreatment if they did not meet strict bank sales quotas. This led many employees to open large numbers of bogus consumer accounts, which ultimately led to investigations, lawsuits and fines from federal and state authorities. Whenever employees are victims of wrongful termination, they have the right to take legal action against their former employers.

In recent reports and investigations, Wells Fargo is accused of engaging not only in wrongful firing but also illegal business practices that include non-payment of wages or overtime as well as penalizing employees. The employees in the lawsuit claim that they were penalized for failing to make quotas for sales over the past decade. Wells Fargo employees who attempted to report these practices were at the very least ignored, and at worst harassed and/or terminated.

The former workers claimed that the sales quotas were impossible and unrealistic unless they resorted to fraud. Those who could not meet the goals reportedly experienced embarrassment, anxiety and humiliation. One example that has come to light is that of an employee who sought several channels in order to make an ethics complaint. After providing details by verbal and written communication to Wells Fargo's ethics department, the employee was fired. Subsequently, he was then offered a new position at $30,000 less in salary than before he was terminated.

Every wrongful termination case is different, so an understanding of what must be proved in one's particular case is necessary in order to prevail in that case. Depending on the basis for a person's claim in California, the damages and remedies he or she might recover vary. It is wise for a person who believes that he or she has been wrongfully fired to act quickly in order to preserve his or her rights.

Source: The New York Times, "At Wells Fargo, Complaints About Fraudulent Accounts Since 2005", Stacy Cowley, Oct. 11, 2016

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