A warning to college grads about workplace violations

Wells Fargo made headlines recently for taking actions to prevent violations of policy from occurring in their businesses. Workplace violations have become an issue many recent college grads may be forced to deal with at their place of employment. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

Workplace violations have become an issue that many college students and recent graduates may be forced to deal with at their places of employment, with companies such as Wells Fargo making headlines for taking actions to prevent violations of policy from occurring in their businesses.

The company recently fired 5,300 employees for violating policies by using fake accounts, fake bankcard PIN numbers and fictional email addresses, according to a report by CNN Money. When the bank’s employees tried speaking up to put a stop to these illegal tactics, they were fired for their efforts, according to the report.

“They ruined my life,” former Pennsylvania Wells Fargo banker Bill Bado said.

Bado refused orders to open fake bank and credit accounts. When he approached Human Resources about the unethical sales activities in which he was being asked to partake, he was fired eight days later with tardiness as the stated reason of his termination, according to the report.

Reports of workplace violations such as these are not uncommon, and they span a wide range of industries and locations throughout the country. University of Connecticut students have varying reactions to the Wells Fargo situation, as well as the general issue of being confronted with issues of workplace violations.

“Knowing that you could potentially lose your job for reporting an ethical violation is disconcerting,” eighth-semester English major Shane Watterson said.

“The Wells Fargo situation doesn’t bother me too much, because if I were working somewhere where there was a threat of being fired for doing the right thing, then I really don’t think it would be the right place to work,” eighth-semester English and Human Development and Family Studies major Alexandria Tracy said.

Watterson and Tracy also both spoke on what they would do if they encountered an issue of workplace violation in the future.

“If I found myself in that situation - and I have on many occasions - it would not bother me too much, as long as it does not cause harm to others,” Tracy said. “If something was happening that was affecting myself and other employees negatively I would be more inclined to say something.”

“I probably wouldn’t get involved in a workplace violation situation unless I knew for certain that something wrong was taking place, but it’s hard to say without actually being in the situation,” Watterson said.


Gabriella Debenedictis is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.