Chicago - Apr. 21, 2017
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OSHA Orders Wells Fargo To Reinstate Whistleblower, Fully Restore Lost Earnings In Banking Industry

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to compensate and immediately reinstate a former bank manager who lost his job after reporting suspected fraudulent behavior to superiors and a bank ethics hotline.

The manager, who had previously received positive job performance appraisals, was abruptly dismissed from his position at a Wells Fargo branch in the Los Angeles area after he reported separate incidents of suspected bank, mail and wire fraud by two bankers under his supervision. He was told he had 90 days to find a new position at Wells Fargo, and when he was unsuccessful, he was terminated. He has been unable to find work in banking since his termination in 2010.

An OSHA investigation concluded that the former manager's whistleblower activity, which is protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, was at least a contributing factor in his termination. OSHA does not release names of whistleblower complainants.

In addition to reinstating the employee and clearing his personnel file, Wells Fargo has been ordered to fully compensate him for lost earnings during his time out of the banking industry. Back pay, compensatory damages, and attorneys' fees were together calculated at about $5.4 million. Wells Fargo also must post a notice informing all employees of their whistleblower protections under Sarbanes-Oxley, widely known as "SOX."

Wells Fargo can appeal the order before the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges, but such action does not stay the preliminary reinstatement order.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of SOX and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of airline, commercial motor vehicle, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws. More information is available at www.whistleblowers.gov.

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Previously:
* Meant To Muzzle: Corporate Whistleblower Settlements Could Violate SEC Rules.

* Should Wells Fargo Execs Responsible For Bilking Customers Be Forced To Return Their Pay? (Hint: Yes).

* In Wells Fargo Case, News Really Did Happen To An Editor.

* The Pathogens Of Wells Fargo's Corruption Fester In Every Large Corporation.

* Voices From Wells Fargo: 'I Thought I Was Having A Heart Attack.'

* Why Companies Like Wells Fargo Ignore Whistleblowers.

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See also:
* What Have Whistleblowers Done For Elite Journalists Lately?

* The Whistleblower System Referred To By Clinton Is A Colossal Joke.

* Item No. 4: "Obama took office pledging tolerance and even support for whistleblowers, but instead is prosecuting them with a zeal that's historically unprecedented."

* The Obama Administration's Disturbing Treatment Of Whistleblowers.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on April 4, 2017


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