$55,000 Settlement with Wells Fargo Financial in Michigan in Race and Age Discrimination Suit

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wells Fargo Financial Michigan, Inc., a financial services company formerly  located in various cities in Michigan  and previously employing at least 200 employees, has agreed to settle an age  and race discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC) for $55,000.

The EEOC’s lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, charged that  Wells Fargo Financial failed to promote a highly qualified 47-year-old  African-American loan processor on the basis of age and race. The loan processor applied for a promotion in  early 2008 and was passed over for five lesser qualified Caucasian women aged  between 23 and 30 who were based in various other branch offices.

The loan processor had  significantly more relevant work experience than all of the other candidates,  the EEOC said. Further, the loan  processor had the best combination of relevant, objective scores that measured  productivity, was “loan processor of the year” for 2007, the year immediately  proceeding the promotion decision, worked at the one of the largest and most profitable  offices in the relevant district, and was the “go-to person” for the district on  loan processing. The loan processor’s  personnel file was devoid of any disciplinary actions, and none of the decision  makers alleged that she had any behavioral problems. Despite her superior qualifications, the loan  processor was passed over for promotion, a decision which the EEOC charged was  based on her age and race.

Such alleged conduct violates both the  Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment  Act, which prohibit employment discrimination against people on the basis of  race and age respectively. The EEOC  filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through  its conciliation process.

Under the terms of consent decree,  signed by U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn, Wells Fargo will pay the employee  $55,000 dollars. Since the employer has closed the relevant operations, no other equitable relief was required.

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