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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wells Fargo Totally Committed to Screwing Over Diverse Populations

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM


At this point we've come to expect that Wells Fargo will screw over middle-class Americans. But it seems in the spirit of being inclusive, the big bank is now screwing over immigrants, too!

At least that's what a group of H-1B visa workers are claiming in a suit filed this week in San Francisco. Lead plaintiff Vinay Karamsetty, a web developer, says that Wells Fargo owes him $42,415 plus interest after Wells Fargo embarked on an "unfair scheme" to help dig the financial institution out an economic hole.

Karamsetty, who was hired by Wells Fargo in 2007, is accusing the bank of violating the

Employee Retirement Income Security Act by denying "employee benefits

under an employee benefit plan regulated and governed by ERISA." He also says that the bank promised to give their visa workers a severance payment if they were "displaced" for "business reasons."

According to the complaint:

In April 2009, Wells Fargo made a

company-wide decision to not renew any H-1B visas due to the economic

climate and Wells Fargo's merger with Wachovia Bank. As soon as an

employee's H-1B visa expires, he loses lawful immigration status and is

required to leave the United States immediately.

Wells Fargo knew these employees would have to find other work or leave the country, yet the company allegedly characterized their termination as "voluntary," which means they were denied severance benefits they deserved, the claim states.

"Wells Fargo exploited this predicament by denying H-1B visa

holders any benefits under the plan under the guise that they

'voluntarily' terminated their employment and were thus ineligible for

benefits under the plan," the complaint states. "This position was

concocted and implemented by a plan administrator with an undisputed

conflict of interest, both as a Wells Fargo employee and fellow plan


This looks like a job for Occupy protesters.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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