A $35.5 Million settlement was signed off between Wells Fargo Advisors LLC and a class of the Banks African American employees the first week of May 2017. The lawsuit claimed Wells Fargo made changes to certain employee programs encouraging racial disparities. One plaintiff in the lawsuit claimed he and other African-American brokers and trainees were denied business opportunities and excluded from high-producing teams because of their race.
Under the proposed settlement, any current or former African-American broker or trainee employed at Wells Fargo at any time from September 2009 to December 31, 2016, is eligible for an award. Payments will be based on length of service at the Wells broker-dealer and personal experiences regarding account transfers, teaming, managerial support and other factors that will be evaluated by one or more independent “neutral” parties selected by Lynn Cohn, the Special Master appointed by the court.
As part of its remediation efforts, Wells has agreed to set up a “resource” focused exclusively on recruiting black advisors and trainees, to review its branch manager assessment program to promote a diverse applicant pool for management positions and to establish a Business Development Fund of up to $500,000 to be used by African-American brokers in private client group and bank offices.
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