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OSHA sides with whistleblower that was retaliated against

The issues that surround Wells Fargo are numerous and the once-esteemed bank has fallen into a position that leaves their future murky and clouded. Without getting into all of these problems, let's focus on just one that involves employment law and whistleblowers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decided that Wells Fargo must rehire a former manager that they fired and pay him $5.4 million to account for lost wages, attorney fees and punitive damages.

What does this decision stem from? It's actually not from the fake account scandal that has plagued the company for the past year. Instead, it was due to mail and wire fraud that this manager noticed back in 2010 and reported to numerous people and entities within the company. He was rather hastily fired after he brought the accusations forward.

While Wells Fargo has asked for a review of the decision by OSHA, the reinstatement order can't be blocked. This is a major victory for the individual who was fired and it is just as important for all whistleblowers out there.

Whenever someone comes forward with serious allegations of great importance, to have their claims dismissed and their rights violated is a blow to every worker. People need to feel secure that when they report illegal or nefarious activity on the part of a co-worker or the company -- i.e. "blow the whistle" -- they will not be punished for it. Retaliating against a whistleblower is prohibited. This decision by OSHA upholds that standard.

Source: Fortune, "Wells Fargo Has to Pay a WhistleBlower $5.4 Million and Give Him His Job Back," Reuters, April 4, 2017

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