$2.6bn lawsuit alleges Wells Fargo fired employees who wouldn’t break law

by Ryan Smith26 Sep 2016
Former Wells Fargo employees are suing the bank bot $2.6 billion, claiming they were fired for refusing to break the law.

The lawsuit is one more salvo in the continuing barrage of criticism and bad PR stemming from revelations that Wells Fargo, in order to boost sales figures, created millions of bank accounts without the account holders’ knowledge or authorization. Wells Fargo recently agreed to pay $185 million in penalties to settle the allegations, and claimed it had fired more than 5,300 employees involved in the fraud.

But the class-action suit claims many employees were fired for refusing to break the law, according to an NPR report. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all bank employees who were penalized for not making sales quotas over the past 10 years, NPR reported.

“The biggest victims of this scheme are a class of people that nobody else has talked about,” the lawsuit said. “The biggest victims of Wells Fargo's scam [are] the class of victims that were fired because they did not meet these cross sell quotas by engaging in the fraudulent scam that would line the CEO's pockets.”

The lawsuit insists that Wells Fargo’s sales goals were “unrealistic” and “impossible,” and that employees couldn’t possibly meet quotas consistently without resort to fraud, NPR reported.

“Thousands of employees who failed to resort to illegal tactics were either demoted or fired as a result,” the lawsuit claimed.

The lawsuit seeks damages of $2.6 billion – “and possibly more,” according to the filing – and alleges that Wells Fargo is guilty of a variety of misdeeds including unlawful business practices, wrongful termination and failure to pay overtime.
 

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