Wells Fargo Forks Out $5.4M to Whistleblower Advisor
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered Wells Fargo to re-hire an unnamed wealth advisor who told higher-ups about the bank’s fraudulent account activity and was subsequently fired in retaliation, according to a publication called Celebrity Net Worth.
OSHA is part of the U.S. Department of Labor.
In addition to rehiring the advisor, Wells Fargo has been told to pay him $5.4 million “in back pay, damages, and legal fees.” The advisor apparently hasn’t been able to find work since Wells Fargo canned him in 2010.
Under federal whistleblower rules companies can’t strike back at employees who report legal violations to supervisors, regulators or government officials.
Wells says it plans to appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, CNN says the U.S. government may impose another high-profile whistleblower settlement on Wells Fargo.
“There is reasonable cause to believe” Wells Fargo violated both Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank in firing Claudia Ponce de Leon in 2011, says aDecember 2016 letter from OSHA that CNN excerpted last week.
As a result, OSHA says Ponce de Leon is likely owed her job back — though it has yet to make a final decision.