What the Wells Fargo Case Means for Whistleblowers
The Wells Fargo bank fraud case has been the hot topic for news stations, politicians, and consumer attorneys for the last few weeks. The case saw the largest fine ever levied by the Consumer Financial Protection Board, over 5,000 employees fired, and the usual round of investigations and congressional hearings. Wells Fargo customers across the country were affected, and the case brought to light the high-pressure sales tactics used to meets quotas and raise stock prices.
However, as the initial waves of coverage subside, it may be time to reflect on what the case means for another group of people seriously affected by the Wells Fargo case: employees who knew what was going on and tried to raise the alarm. In the aftermath of the investigation, numerous employees have come forward saying that they tried to put a stop to the practice of creating fraudulent accounts for customers, and suffered retaliation , harassment, and firing as a result.
It’s explicitly illegal for a company to try to prevent whistleblowers from coming forward, or to retaliate against them in any way once they have. While companies tend to adhere to this on paper, it’s sometimes the case that an employee who reveals the sordid details of a company finds themselves being let go for “tardiness” or other trivial issues. Whistleblowers who use a company’s “anonymous” internal ethics hotline may find themselves targeted by higher-ups, or ostracized by peers.
Because of this, it’s vitally important that potential whistleblowers contact an attorney who can help them not only shepherd their case through the IRS, SEC, CFPB or other regulatory agency, but can also help ensure that they are protected from their employer, and that they aren’t retaliated against.
If you have information relating to misconduct by a company or individual, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at