Wells Fargo’s legal problems continue to mount. Just days after a 6.2 billion class action was filed against the company, and less than a month after company officials admitted that more than 5,000 employees had created over two million bogus accounts to meet sales quotas, the company has been served with a sexual harassment complaint by a former broker for Wells Fargo Advisors in Philadelphia. The complaint alleges that the company paid female brokers less than males in similar transactions, and engaged in retaliatory conduct against employees who reported fraudulent practices.
Laurie A. McNally, a broker for 29 years, says she was given substantially less support than men in her office and that she was routinely subjected to lewd comments from colleagues and managers. She says that her first regional manager at Wells Fargo told her that “we only hire hot women and you qualify.” Her complaint also alleges that company officials tolerated a hostile environment based on sex, where a co-employee told her to wear thigh-high stockings because it was “thigh-high Thursday, asked her for sex, and requested that she lift up her shirt for him. When she asked her branch manager for a working telephone, he told her that “you have to do something to get something.”
McNally says things became extremely difficult for her at Wells Fargo after she complained to management and the SEC about what she perceived to be fraudulent or illegal business practices. She says that Wells Fargo encouraged brokers to get customers to sign blank signature pages and then would create new accounts that brokers could use to generate sales commissions.
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