A husband and wife pair, both long term employees of Wells Fargo, filed a joint wrongful termination lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, August 31. In their lawsuit, the spouses acknowledge that their superiors have accused them of engaging in using unethical sales techniques prior to their firings. They, however, allege that their terminations came as a result of accusing their supervisors of impropriety.
The pair both were employed as regional presidents over Southern California branch operations at the time of their firings. The husband had worked for the bank since 2000 and his wife had since 1994. Their terminations happened in March, just a few weeks after some of their superiors had been fired by the company for setting up sham accounts.
The husband and wife duo allege that they both repeatedly reported cases in which their superiors encouraged their employees to open bogus accounts, but that those concerns went unaddressed. In fact, they argue that they were fired as a way to appear proactive in the eyes of the board of directors, federal regulators, and the general public about the increasingly problematic issue of sham accounts.
The pair argues that right before their hiring, the bank’s leadership took and promoted many of the executives who had engaged in the wrongdoing. They noted that it was the whistleblowing employees that the organization seemed to be most interested in terminating.
As for Wells Fargo, they have issued a statement in which they contend that they didn’t fire the pair out of retaliation. Instead, they argue that they fired the pair for both lawful and legitimate reasons.
The couple is requesting damages as high as $50 million on the grounds that they lost job prospects and money after their firings. They note that they’ve been dealing with intense anxiety, depression, and distress as well.
If you suspect that you have been unlawfully discharged from your job role, then you should consult an experienced Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney to advise you of your right to file a lawsuit.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Former Wells Fargo executives say they were scapegoated for accounts scandal,” James Rufus Koren, Sep. 01, 2017