On April 3, 2017, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered Wells Fargo to reinstate a former bank manager who blew the whistle on fraudulent behavior at the bank. The whistleblower, who’s name was not released, reported the fraud to both supervisors and the company’s ethics hotline.
The former manager filed a complaint with OSHA under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower provisions after he was fired. OSHA investigated and determined that the whistleblower’s protected activity, reporting the fraud, was a contributing factor in his termination.
OSHA not only ordered immediate reinstatement, but Wells Fargo must also clear the former manager’s personnel file. In addition, Wells Fargo must to fully compensate the him for lost earnings, back pay, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees which all together amount to about $5.4 million. Wells Fargo also must post a notice informing all employees of their whistleblower protections under Sarbanes-Oxley, widely known as “SOX.”