Wells Fargo fired Richard Eggers, a 68-year-old customer service representative, for a misdemeanor he committed when he was 19 years old. In 1963, he was spotted putting a fake dime in a laundry machine.  His punishment: 15 days in jail and $50 fine.

Wells Fargo alleges that they only fired Eggers because they have to abide by the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA) or else they will be fined. Section 19 of the FDIA forbids the employment of anyone convicted of a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust or money laundering. However, FDIA was mainly enacted to prevent widespread mortgage fraud. It is unlikely that the misdemeanor Eggers was convicted of falls within the policy for which the law was enacted.

In my opinion, Eggers has fallen victim to age discrimination, as he was nearing age of retirement. I have a feeling this has nothing to do with the FDIA. Eggers worked at the bank for 7 years without any instances of criminal activity or wrongdoing.  In my belief, Eggers was terminated without just cause. The bank simply used the FDIA as an opportunity to let go of a senior employee.

What Is Age Discrimination?

In 1967, the United States Congress passed a law banning age discrimination.  According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Age discrimination involves treating an employee less favorably because of his age.   For example, it would be a crime to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, etc…

For more information regarding Age discrimination click here.

Steps to take if you’ve fallen victim to age discrimination:

1.    File a charge of age discrimination with the Federal Employment Opportunity Commission.  However, if you wish to remain anonymous, it may be smarter to file a complaint instead.
2.    Contact an Attorney. It is always easier to talk to an experienced attorney to guide you and point you in the right direction.  They will be there for you and answer any questions you may have regarding your discrimination.

Is it fair for Egger to lose his job over something he did half a century ago? Do you think he was a victim to age discrimination or was the Bank justified in firing him?