United States: fired after denouncing the actions of the Wells Fargo bank, he receives 22 million euros

It is a decision that sounds like proof of the protection of whistleblowers. A US agency ordered Wells Fargo on Thursday to pay $22 million (the equivalent in euros) to a former employee who had repeatedly raised concerns about certain actions within the establishment, before to be fired.

The Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA) ruled that his firing in 2019 violated the law protecting whistleblowers and that he should therefore be compensated for lost wages, bonuses and benefits. , as well as compensation.

This executive “has repeatedly expressed concerns to officials in his area and to ethics officers about actions he believes violated financial laws,” OSHA said in a statement.

The bank announces that it will appeal

Wells Fargo, after his departure, justified his dismissal on the grounds of restructuring, but OSHA investigators determined that other executives in the area had not been treated in the same way. The bank refutes the agency’s conclusions and will appeal to an administrative judge, a spokesman told AFP.

In France, the recent adoption of Law No. 2022-401 of March 21, 2022 aims to improve the protection of these “whistleblowers” who want to draw attention to health or environmental risks, or again on an illicit activity of their company. This text transposes into French law a European directive of 2019 and corrects the imperfections of the Sapin II law which came into force in December 2016 and is still little applied.

Even before having been able to benefit from the new legislation, employees won in court. This law provides in particular that if the information is discovered in the context of professional activity, it is no longer essential to have had “personal knowledge”.

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