January 27, 2017

Warren Questions Removal of Wells Fargo Complaint Webpage by Department of Labor

Senator Asks for Update on Investigation into Bank's Potential Labor Violations

Washington, DC - In a letter to the Acting Secretary of Labor, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asked why the Department of Labor (DOL) recently eliminated a webpage allowing Wells Fargo employees to report potential labor violations and to obtain information about their rights under the law. The webpage, which was up and available to the public earlier in January, remains unavailable despite several new allegations about Wells Fargo's labor practices.

"I am concerned that the Department of Labor has removed the website where Wells Fargo's employees who were victims of the company's fraudulent actions could file labor complaints or report illegal activity," Senator Warren wrote. "Taking down this website enables Wells Fargo to escape full responsibility for its fraudulent actions and the Department to shirk its outstanding obligations to American workers."

Following requests by Sen. Warren and other Democratic senators, DOL opened a "top to bottom" review of labor violations at Wells Fargo in September 2016. Since then, additional reports about misconduct at the bank have emerged, including several new allegations regarding Wells Fargo employees who were terminated for calling the company's ethics line to report phony accounts and allegations involving employees who were asked to work through the night to shred evidence of maleficence in advance of internal risk inspections. In addition, reports indicated that Trump Administration transition officials may have interfered in the investigation in late 2016, as "an attorney representing Wells Fargo tried to hamper an investigation into the bank's treatment of employees and in doing so cited a possible role in the coming Trump administration."

The senator today asked DOL for an update on its investigation of Wells Fargo's labor practices, whether it will extend its investigation to include new allegations, and whether it will reinstate its webpage to assist Wells Fargo employees.

A PDF copy of the letter is available here.


Note: Press release has been updated to correct the timing of the webpage's removal.