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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