The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) must rehire the employee, which was a former bank manager, and must pay back $5.4 million, including wages, compensatory damages and attorneys' fees.
The former bank manager was forced to leave a Los Angeles branch in 2010 after reporting suspected fraudulent behavior of Wells Fargo. The manager told superiors that he suspected two of his subordinates of bank mailed and wired fraud, and he called the bank’s ethics hot line.
However, the bank disagreed with OSHA and would request a full hearing on the matter, according to Vince Scanlon, the bank’s spokesman.
“This decision is a preliminary order and to date there has been no hearing on the merits of this case. We take seriously the concerns of current and former team members,” he said in the statement. While OSHA said that the former bank manager’s whistleblowing was at least a contributing factor in the termination.
The former bank manager was told that he had 90 days to find a new job at Wells Fargo after the whistleblowing, and was fired for being unable to do that. He received positive job performance reviews in Wells Fargo before, according to the statement.