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Bailey writes: "Two former Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) employees have filed a class action in California seeking $2.6 billion or more for workers who tried to meet aggressive sales quotas without engaging in fraud and were later demoted, forced to resign or fired."

John Stumpf, chairman and CEO of the Wells Fargo Company, is sworn in prior to testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Sept. 20 in Washington. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
John Stumpf, chairman and CEO of the Wells Fargo Company, is sworn in prior to testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Sept. 20 in Washington. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)


Former Employees File Class Action Against Wells Fargo

By David Bailey, Reuters

25 September 16

 

wo former Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) employees have filed a class action in California seeking $2.6 billion or more for workers who tried to meet aggressive sales quotas without engaging in fraud and were later demoted, forced to resign or fired.

The lawsuit on behalf of people who worked for Wells Fargo in California over the past 10 years, including current employees, focuses on those who followed the rules and were penalized for not meeting sales quotas.

"Wells Fargo fired or demoted employees who failed to meet unrealistic quotas while at the same time providing promotions to employees who met these quotas by opening fraudulent accounts," the lawsuit filed on Thursday in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County said.

Wells Fargo has fired some 5,300 employees for opening as many as 2 million accounts in customers' names without their authorization. On Sept. 8, a federal regulator and Los Angeles prosecutor announced a $190 million settlement with Wells.

The revelations are a severe hit to Wells Fargo's reputation. During the financial crisis, the bank trumpeted being a conservative bank in contrast with its rivals.

A Wells Fargo spokesman on Saturday declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo of wrongful termination, unlawful business practices and failure to pay wages, overtime, and penalties under California law.

Former employees Alexander Polonsky and Brian Zaghi allege Wells Fargo managers pressed workers to meet quotas of 10 accounts per day, required progress reports several times daily and reprimanded workers who fell short.

Polonsky and Zaghi filed applications matching customer requests and were counseled, demoted and later terminated, the lawsuit said.

While executives at the top benefited from the activity, the blame landed on thousands of $12-per-hour employees who tried to meet the quotas and were often required to work off the clock to do so, the lawsuit said.

Employees with a conscience who tried to meet quotas without engaging in fraud were the biggest victims, losing wages, benefits and suffering anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment, the lawsuit said.

Wells Fargo was aware many accounts were illegally opened, unwanted, carried a zero balance, or were simply a result of unethical business practices, the lawsuit said.

"Wells Fargo knew that their unreasonable quotas were driving these unethical behaviors that were used to fraudulently increase their stock price and benefit the CEO at the expense of the low level employees," the lawsuit said.


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+20 # guomashi 2016-09-25 09:07
Great stuff!
String 'em up.

Local credit unions are the way to go.
Big banks are just organized crime families.
 
 
+12 # MainStreetMentor 2016-09-25 10:29
This is a civil suit – which I hope and pray the plaintiffs win! But even a more furtive hope is: From this suit I hope a criminal suit is born, which I pray would result in incarceration of those who created the fraudulent processes and forced them on honest persons in their employ. IF a criminal action emerges from the class action suit, I hope it, too, will result in additional criminal prosecutions of even more of the Wall Street financial rapists who placed this country into the economic turmoil from which we are STILL attempting to recover.
 
 
+3 # Citizen Mike 2016-09-25 13:04
I agree with you an do business only with a credit union and a small local bank.

Business ethics is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. The deal is "Grab More." Whatever you can get away with is OK, and if you get caught it doesn't matter.
 
 
+4 # HowardMH 2016-09-25 13:50
Way to go Former Wells Fargo workers!!!

I hope you get it all and a lot more and put Stumpf in jail for the rest of his life, that is after they take back everything he has earned from Wells Fargo.
 
 
+11 # RMDC 2016-09-25 10:02
This Stumpf guy has a busted up hand from jamming it into the cookie jar too many times and taking about huge wads of money.

Eliz Warren in the senate hearing said Stumpf made $200 in stock profit while "account-gate" was going on. That's how his hand got all broken up.
 
 
+10 # reiverpacific 2016-09-25 12:15
Well, that's only ±$500,000 each, if my calcs are correct but I suppose if you're used to making $12.00/hr (a good bit less less than my social security monthly payment) it probably seems like a good payoff.
But I'd like to see them get back pay at the same rate on top of that at least.
Wells Fargo have always been cheapskate thugs -my wife knew a vice president through her father- and he was a greedy, cynical, elitist bastard.
I hope they get soaked to the max.
 
 
+6 # diamondmarge7 2016-09-25 12:19
One can but only hope that they win the civil suit--hope their lawyers are either pro bono or will take their fees from whatever is recovered for the plaintiffs; for sure WF lawyers will tie this up FOR YEARS-God forbid it goes all the way to the SCourt which has been corrupted, too.
I called my WF stockbroker to express my extreme displeasure and am still waiting for a callback.
Think I'll EVAH get that call back? If the msg I had left said I wanted to buy/sell, you can bet I'd have heard back in a heartbeat.
The Big Question is "Will our equally corrupted DOJ or SEC do any prosecut6ing of the top level bankers??????
 
 
+4 # indian weaver 2016-09-25 14:05
No, the Dept. of Justice and Obama are DOA / MIA in every issue of importance to We The People (especially this applies to Obama on EVERY issue - a flagrant lying coward he is). Does anyone see any significant actions by the Justice Dept. to deal with police murders day after day? No. And, his cowardly justice dept. will turn around and let the Dakota pipeline continue as the dust settles, just watch. That corrupt action may not work this time if millions come online / in person to protest the destruction of our water, hopefully.
 
 
0 # djean102 2016-09-27 13:08
GOOD! I used to have an account with them about 10 years ago. One day my analyst called and told me he was cashing out my account because new guidelines mandated they only keep accounts worth over $250,000. SO fuck this current asshole who couldn't make enough off of my piddly account to make him buckets of money. Fines won't do it. The threat of JAIL would, and that's where he belongs!
 

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