NEW YORK — Wells Fargo is being ordered to reinstate a branch manager it fired in 2011 after the employee tried to blow the whistle on the bank’s growing sales practices scandal.

The Department of Labor on Friday also ordered Wells Fargo to pay $577,500 in back wages.

Wells Fargo fired a California-based branch manager in September 2011 when the manager raised concerns that employees were opening accounts without customers’ knowledge or consent. What the manager saw and reported eventually became an all-consuming scandal for the San Francisco-based bank, which admitted last year that its employees opened up to 2 million accounts without getting customers’ permission.

Wells Fargo paid $185 million to federal and local authorities over the scandal and recently reached a $142 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit involving the accounts.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.