Wells Fargo Sued Over Hostile Sales Culture

January 1, 2016

Wells Fargo & Co., one of the largest banks in America, is being sued for establishing an overly aggressive environment for employees that’s led them to manipulate their customers in order to reach their monthly goals.

Wells Fargo employees allegedly opened multiple accounts at no benefit for the customer, opened credit card accounts for customers without their permission, and even forged customer signatures, according to a recent lawsuit.

The L.A. Times discovered in 2013 that employees were partaking in fraudulent practices to meet their quotas. Numerous employees have stepped forward claiming that they were taught and encouraged to perform these fraudulent acts by their managers. Likewise, branch managers were allegedly expected to produce 120 percent of the daily quotas established.

In May 2015, a lawsuit was initiated against Wells Fargo on behalf of employees in Los Angeles. The lawsuit claims that the company maintains a high-pressure sales system that forces employees to gain customers through illegal ways. How? The company reportedly focuses on “cross-selling,” which is the practice of aggressively selling multiple products to customers who are just looking to open a single bank account or credit card. The lawsuit also alleges that the illegal tactics can have a detrimental effect on customers’ credit scores.

This is not the first lawsuit filed against the corporation. In 2009, a class action case against Wells Fargo was settled for $100,000.

Wells Fargo officials said they make ethical conduct a priority and punish or fire employees who don’t serve customers properly, according to recent reports.

“I’m not aware of any overbearing sales culture,” Chief Financial Officer Timothy Sloan said in an interview.

The company recently fired about 30 Southern California workers because the bank said they cheated to hit their sales goals. Employees said other workers in the region were put on administrative leave or let go.

The company declined to comment on any additional actions.

Generally, if an employee feels intimidated, threatened, offended, disrespected, and/or scared to be at work and the employer knew or should have known of the unwelcome verbal or physical conduct in the workplace and failed to take immediate action to remedy the situation, it is considered a hostile work environment.

In order to prove a harassment claim, an employee must show that the treatment he or she endured created a hostile work environment. This is done by demonstrating that the behavior happened frequently and severely enough to alter the working environment to the point of abusive and hostile.

If you have been the victim of an aggressive or hostile work environment, our Florida Employment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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