Age Remarks Could Cost Wells Fargo Manager

     (CN) – A Wells Fargo manager may have discriminated when she allegedly called a California employee “too old for banking,” a federal judge ruled.
     Yesenia Guitron and Judi Klosek sued Wells Fargo and St. Helena, Calif. branch manager Pam Rubio in 2010, claiming they had been harassed and eventually fired for reporting “unethical conduct, opening and closing accounts, forced sales, ordering products that customers don’t want … [and] shoving products down customers’ throats,” according to the court.
     As “personal bankers” at the branch, the women also claimed that Rubio harassed them, and that the company ignored their complaints. Guitron alleged that Rubio and other supervisors discriminated against her as a single woman. She says she was often told to “shake her skirt” and unbutton her shirt to attract business. Klosek, who is in her 60s, accused Rubio of age discrimination.
     U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken awarded Wells Fargo summary judgment most of the claims Friday.
     The court noted that Guitron deserved warnings because she consistently failed to meet sales goals. The banker had also been fired for failing to return to work after being suspended for insubordination, not for reporting unethical practices, Wilken found.
     Only Klosek’s discrimination claims on the basis of age and disability survived, with Wilken pointing to one incident in which Rubio allegedly told Klosek that she was “too old for banking” after coming across her birth date in a record.
     “Only Rubio’s comment that Klosek was ‘too old for banking’ is direct evidence of discrimination based on age,” Wilken wrote. “Further, Rubio made this comment shortly before giving Klosek her third quarter performance review, in which Rubio incorrectly asserted that Klosek had received a verbal warning for her performance.”

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