Richard Eggers, Fired From Wells Fargo, Declines Reinstatement

Richard Eggers Wells Fargo job
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A 68-year-old Des Moines man fired from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage over a minor crime 50 years ago says that he won't accept an offer to return to work unless the company changes its background checks policy.

Richard Eggers says the policy discriminates against low-level workers. He was fired in July for having been arrested 49 years ago for putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine at a laundromat. Wells Fargo offered to rehire Eggers to his previous job, which had a salary of $29,795 a year.

"If Wells Fargo had agreed to our requests, I would have returned to work," Eggers, 68, told USA Today. "But this isn't just about me -- I'm eligible for Social Security -- this is also about the thousands of working families with children which have been hurt by the same rules."

According to USA Today, as many as 3,000 bank workers have been fired under the new federal rules, which prohibit banks from employing anyone convicted of dishonest behavior and carry $1 million-a-day fines for each violation. Wells Fargo had secured a waiver from federal regulators so that it could rehire Eggers.

Eggers' attorney, Leonard Bates, told USA Today that his client wanted to negotiate more humane terms for all Wells Fargo employees fired under the rule, however. Wells Fargo spokeswoman Vickee Adams says the company is disappointed that Eggers rejected the job offer and didn't recognize its "responsibility to apply the law equitably and fairly" for all employees.

Eggers' firing has been reported around the world. According to USA Today, he is scheduled to appear on Comedy Central's '"Colbert Report."

AOL Jobs contributed to this report.


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62 Comments

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albrts153

Banks are the biggest thives in the world! Just overdraw your account a few pennies and they hit you with all kinds of fees. If you have a Credit Card with a bank and are a few days late on the payment one time they charge you a big penalty and raise your percentage rate. These tactics are nothing but stealing and the goverment lets them get away with it.

October 27 2012 at 1:10 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Jonathan

Why not fire everyone (who hasn't something as minor at putting a cardboard dime in a wash machine?) - Just think what it would do to the country? Full unemployment!

October 26 2012 at 10:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jonathan's comment
tnphotos4u

I haven't

October 27 2012 at 8:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
matdamato

so, we are assuming people do not change, even after 30 years? listen up, people change, and we all make mistakes. Therefore, we should penalize the ones who get caught?

October 26 2012 at 8:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to matdamato's comment
M

Well, I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who once said "If you don't like a bad law, enforce it STRICTLY."

In the case of this law, the penalty to the banks is incredible! The human cost of enforcing it is also incredible!
Typical "one size fits all" solution with unintended consequences... maybe it should have applied only to bank executives, and/or had a time limit of, oh, say 20 years?

Unfortunately the law was given TEETH, and apparently not written with common sense.

October 27 2012 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
urout48

Wells Fargo o ly offered him because of the extraneous pressure.they don't give a crap about him.

October 26 2012 at 8:29 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
spdy65

So, if it a federal law, why is he blaming wells fargo? They went out of their way to get a special waiver from the feds so he could return to work, and then he refused. He's throwing blame at the wrong entity here.

October 26 2012 at 8:24 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
updj

HP needs some journalists. Article says guy was arrested, doesn't say he was convicted. Article states law requires that someone conviced of this type of crime can't be employed at a bank. Was he convicted> Or does the law refer to someone who was arrested>

October 26 2012 at 7:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to updj's comment
talddren

The linked story says he was convicted.

October 27 2012 at 8:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Freddie

You know...if every lawmaker in Wash. D.C. was fired for lying about anything at any time...there wouldn't be enough bodies left for a small committee! Banks are the same. There wouldn't be anyone in over half the branches....and no-one above branch manager! And that's the truth!

October 26 2012 at 7:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
jpaf

HE made a character mistake, whereas Fargo 'only' made a background mistake. Sins may be spiritually forgiven via a church, but legally they can remain for life. Really feel bad for him and sorry about the situation, but he did the dishonest thing on his own.

October 26 2012 at 7:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Practical Nomad

"Vickee Adams says the company is disappointed that Eggers rejected the job offer and didn't recognize its "responsibility to apply the law equitably and fairly" for all.

Well Vickee, Richard Eggers was disappointed that 50 years had passed before Wells Fargo terminated him for a ridiculous "minor crime." Vickee, the law isn't being applied "equitably and fairly" for all. Wells Fargo blatantly disregards an otherwise perfect employment record? No doubt Wells Fargo didn't take the time to discuss or review it with Mr. Eggers? Numerous background checks must have transpired during his employment term, curious it just shows up now while retirement closes in?

October 26 2012 at 7:04 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Practical Nomad's comment
Warren

The law was designed to attack bank owners, officer, managers and directors. The law harms the worker. This happens all the time.

This guy is not a thief, and has been rehabilitated from his problem of 50 years ago when he did not own a dime to clean his clothes.

This always happens in the Financial Industry. Someone like a Bernie Maddoff steals some money and now every honest low paid clerk must be fired because they might not have owned a dime to clean their clothes 50 years ago.

This actually is part of the unemployment problem. Companies are afraid to hire workers.

If you fire everyone, there will be no one likely to commit any crime.

October 26 2012 at 6:58 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Warren's comment
M

"If you fire everyone, there will be no one likely to commit any crime."

And just think of the savings in vacation pay, sick pay, and heck, even salaries.
*smirk*

Actually, that was in the newspaper comic strip "DILBERT" years ago...

October 27 2012 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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