Big bank forced to rehire loan whistleblower

by Ryan Smith17 Mar 2016
Federal officials ordered the nation’s largest bank to reinstate a whistleblower who raised concerns over the handling of loans.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has ordered JPMorgan Chase to give an unnamed New Jersey employee his job back and pay him more than $200,000 in back pay and damages, according to an ABC News report. The employee, a loan delivery operations manager, was fired after he raised concerns about the bank’s failure to properly record loans, OSHA said. The employee also refused to lie about the bank failing a compliance test, according to ABC News.

The employee raised concerns about the way the bank was handling loans between November of 2013 and May of 2014, according to a Business Insurance report. OSHA said that Chase retaliated by removing his responsibilities, eliminating his position, and firing him in July of 2014.

But OSHA found that the employee engaged in protected activity when he questioned Chase’s handling of loans, Business Insurance reported. The bank has been ordered to reinstate him, pay more than $203,000 in back wages, compensatory damages and medical expenses, and expunge his personnel record. Chase has also been ordered to post a notice informing employees of whistleblower rights under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Act, Business Insurance reported.

“These laws expressly protect employees’ rights to raise reasonable concerns about what they believe to be potential violations without fear of retaliation by their employers,” said OSHA regional administrator Robert Kulick. “If employees are afraid to come forward for fear of punishment, financial wrongdoing could be masked, with consequences for employees, the employers and consumers.”



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