Eleven former Wells Fargo employees have sued the bank over being fired based on background checks showing minor criminal violations that in some cases were decades old or expunged from their records.
The bank conducted the background checks after a 2008 federal law did not allow banks and mortgage companies to employ people with criminal violations involving dishonesty.
Pursuant to the Background Checks Project, Wells Fargo abruptly fired thousands of exemplary employees, some of whom had worked for Wells Fargo for decades and were approaching retirement, others who had just received promotions or had bonuses forthcoming,” the suit said. “No other FDIC-insured banking institution engaged in mass employee termination under the auspices of ‘compliance.’
Wells Fargo stood by its decision to fire the affected employees.
Several of the plaintiffs allege that they were hired after disclosing their criminal convictions and told that it would not affect their employment with the San Francisco-based bank.
Some of the plaintiffs said criminal charges never resulted in a conviction. Others said that the conviction stemmed from misdemeanors or, as one plaintiff put it, a “hairbrush incident,” previously disclosed to Wells that had occurred 30 years prior to her firing from the bank in 2012, according to the suit.
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